Oral History of Daphne F. Humphrey

Dublin Core


Oral History of Daphne F. Humphrey

Alternative Title

Oral History, Humphrey


Sanford (Fla.)
Georgetown (Sanford, Fla.)
African Americans--Florida--Sanford
Midwives--United States
Maternity homes--United States


Daphne F. Humphrey was born in Sarasota, Florida, but migrated to Sanford at age 5. In this oral history, she first describes Georgetown, an historic African-American community in Sanford. She then talks of her mother, Marie Jones Francis, the "midwife of Sanford," in great detail. She then spends time speaking of her own life and becoming a teacher.

Marie Jones Francis, the "midwife of Sanford," left behind a successful hotel and restaurant she owned in Sarasota in 1942 to return to Sanford and become a midwife. World War II caused a shortage in doctors and nurses, so Florida's Children's Bureau sent Francis to Florida A & M to acquire her practical nursing license in 1945. She specialized in premature babies and returned to Sanford to aid her mother, Carrie Jones, at Fernald-Laughton Memorial Hospital before they opened the ward in their home. "When her health starting failing," she recollects in a newspaper article, "I took over." Francis converted her house at 621 East Sixth Street to also serve as a maternity ward, where she delivered over 40,000 babies over her 32 year career. She became a midwife in the same vein as her mother, Carrie Jones, and together they ran the Jones-Francis Maternity Hall in Georgetown.

Francis served her community in several ways. She delivered babies for both white and black families from Seminole County, primarily patrons who either preferred natural births or could not afford deliveries at a hospital. In the 1950s, it cost $70 to stay nine days where soon-to-be mothers were taken care of. Francis was assisted by her sister, Annie Walker, who did the cooking. The house and ward also served as a school, where Marie Francis taught nurses the art of midwifery. Nurses would come from across the state to learn how to delivery infants naturally. A heavy burden on a single working mother, Marie Francis had three daughters, Cassandra Clayton, Daphne Humphrey, and Barbara Torre. Clayton and Humphrey became school teachers and Torre became a purchaser at Seminole Memorial Hospital.


Oral history interview of Daphne F. Humphrey. Interview conducted by Julio R. Firpo at the home of Daphne F. Humphrey in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

Table Of Contents

0:00:00 Introduction
0:00:23 Growing up in Sanford
0:01:12 Interaction between black and white community
0:02:12 Layout of Georgetown
0:03:25 Sanford Avenue
0:12:04 East Sixth Street
0:13:00 Locust Avenue
0:14:37 Hickory Avenue
0:15:06 Goose Hollow
0:34:42 Marie Jones Francis and Carrie Jones
0:16:45 Students trained by Francis
0:19:15 Memories of her mother and her childhood
0:26:56 Experience as a teacher
0:30:01 African-American businesses and people in Georgetown
0:39:53 Parents
0:47:52 Age and mental retention
00:51:26 Education, employment, and siblings
0:53:38 Childhood neighborhood
0:57:31 Reflections on life
0:59:53 Growing up in Sarasota
1:02:46 How children have changed over time
1:04:26 Friends and family
1:11:24 Working at a health food store
1:12:18 Former students
1:15:11 Importance of being polite and respectful
1:16:16 Importance of reading
1:18:08 Daily plans and the RICHES project
1:19:39 Goldsboro
1:23:58 Childhood neighborhood
1:29:40 Closing remarks


Firpo, Julio R.


Humphrey, Daphne F. Interview by Julio R. Firpo. Home of Daphne F. Humphrey. April 8, 2011. Audio record available. RICHES of Central Florida.

Date Created


Date Modified



Humphrey, Daphne F.

Is Part Of

Marie Jones Francis Collection, Georgetown Collection, Sanford Collection, Seminole County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.


Multimedia software, such as QuickTime.




906 MB


1-hour, 29-minute, and 47-second audio recording






John R. Hurston House, Georgetown, Sanford, Florida
Jones-Francis Maternity Hall, Georgetown, Sanford, Florida

Accrual Method

Item Creation


History Teacher
Geography Teacher


Originally created by Julio R. Firpo and published by RICHES of Central Florida.

Contributing Project


Firpo, Julio R.

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

Dickinson, Joy Wallace. "A Very Rich Trail: Florida Black Heritage is Celebrated in an Updated and Expanded StatePublication." The Orlando Sentinel, February 24, 2008, J1. http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2008/02/24/3287685.htm.
Moore, Stacy. "Midwife on Job Here 32 Years." The Little Sentinel, April 4, 1979, 26. https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka2/items/show/2922.
Jeria, Michelle. "Sanford's Birth Place." The Sanford Herald, Feb 16, 2003, 1C. https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka2/items/show/2933.
Flewellyn, Valada Parker, and the Sanford Historical Society. African Americans of Sanford. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2009.
Sanford Historical Society (Fla.). Sanford. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2003.

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Firpo, Julio R.


Humphrey, Daphne F.


Altamonte Springs, Florida

Original Format

1 audio recording


1 hour, 29 minutes, and 47 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

1411 kbps


Firpo, Julio R., “Oral History of Daphne F. Humphrey,” RICHES, accessed July 16, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/3309.