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    Courthouse Square-North Side Businesses, 1880s Courthouse Square-North Side Businesses, 1880s
Gainesville historian Jess G. Davis dated this view at 1883; however, a comparison with another view, a sketch made in the same year, indicates these buildings may be a little earlier. The scene is the north side of the Courthouse Square on University Avenue. The buildings, from left, are the Matheson Store, Dr. James F. McKinstry’s office, the post office, and Vidal Drug Store. This view does not necessarily show the entire block.
Arriving in Gainesville from South Carolina following the Civil War, James Douglas Matheson opened a general store on the Courthouse Square and built his home in 1867 a few blocks away, overlooking Sweetwater Branch. He married Augusta Florida Steele, the daughter of a prominent Cedar Key family. Dr. McKinstry was a physician who also served as Gainesville's Postmaster from 1915 to 1921. He came to Gainesville from South Carolina, settling here in 1881. A graduate of the Charleston Medical College, Dr. Adolph J. Vidal was a pharmacist.
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