Oral History & AV Collections

archives banner miss gillians class

Our audio and visual materials are made available on the Internet Archive.

Oral Histories

The Boynton Beach City Library is home to oral histories created over many years. Thanks go to many individuals who gave interviews, recorded interviews, transcribed, cataloged, and made these available. All interviews have authorized releases; click here to request more information.


Homer Quincy Adams (1918-1994) came to Boynton in 1924 with his family, including his father, Samuel Adams (1877-1962) and mother Ella Meredith Adams (1885-1973) and was a well-known charter boat captain from about 1945 to 1974. He met his wife, Shirley Metcalf (1928-2012) when she was a guest on his boat in 1950. 

  • 1992 Oral History Interview: Interviewed by Caryn Neumann on 17 August 1992 for the Boynton Beach City Library Oral History Project. Wide variety of topics briefly covered, including his father's work as a builder in the area; where the African-American sections of town were; and his experiences as a charter boat captain and who the other charter boat captains in the area were. Also mentions being a newspaper boy, his favorite teachers at Boynton Elementary School, and taking his boat up the Spanish River to protect it during the 1947 hurricane.
    Listen to the interview on the Internet Archive (transcription available)

Other Audio Materials

In addition to Oral Histories, we have a small collection of presentations.

  1. "Life of Margretta Moore Pierce (1840-1912)," presented by Lillian Frederica “Freda” Voss Oyer

Margretta and Hannibal PierceMargretta Moore Pierce was one of many children born to Mary Bingham and William Moore, a soldier who was stationed at several military camps in the mid-west; they both died from “galloping consumption.” Margretta went to live with her married sister Kate in Waukegan, Illinois, and there met shipwrecked seaman Hannibal Pierce and married him in 1858. By 1871, she had buried three young children and was living in Chicago. Margretta, Hannibal, their child Charlie, and Margretta’s brother William Moore left Chicago for Florida in late 1871. They lived in several places, including Ankona, Fort Pierce, and Lake Worth. Husband Hannibal was employed at Jupiter Lighthouse, Biscayne Bay House of Refuge, and the Orange Grove House of Refuge at Delray Beach, where she had her last child, Lillie. However, their main home was Hypoluxo Island, where they were among the first homesteaders in the area.

Summary: In this presentation on the life of her grandmother, Margretta Moore Pierce (1840-1912), given to the Boynton Beach Historical Society on 29 October 1970, Freda Oyer draws on family papers from several sources to construct a descriptive talk of what life was like on the south Florida frontier in the 1870s. She includes some details of her great-grandmother’s life (Mary Bingham Moore), her grandmother’s marriage to grandfather Hannibal Pierce, their leaving Chicago shortly after the Chicago fire of 1871 on the boat Fairy Belle, their house burning down in Ankona, recovering ship wreckage while Hannibal was the Assistant Lighthouse keeper at the Jupiter Lighthouse, enduring a hurricane under a boat while moving to Hypoluxo Island, and details of the first Christmas dinner in south Florida (possum and biscuits were served). Also mentions life at the House of Refuge in Biscayne Bay and later teaching her granddaughter, the author, how to read.

Click here to listen to the presentation online (transcription available)


Gillian Frances Wimbourne Davis (b. 1936 England) moved to Boynton Beach in 1956 to establish a dance school after being encouraged by local residents. She taught dance classes at her studio in Boynton Beach as well as in locations from Palm Beach to Delray Beach. She was also involved with WHRS/WXEL radio and TV in Boynton. In 1983 she married the British musicologist Richard Beattie Davis. In 1986 she sold her studio and moved back to the UK. Her husband (d. 2008) collected and wrote about rare first and early editions of music scores, including Mozart and Beethoven, but his lasting legacy is his book on the Russian publications by Belaieff, with which she was involved. His collection was housed at FAU Wimberley Library in Boca Raton for many years, but is now at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. As of 2021, Miss Gillian still resides at least part of the year at her home in Boynton Beach.

Thanks to Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives for digitization of several of Miss Gillian's films.