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Clarence Straus was an evangelist who visited Gainesville around 1905, and his visit is recorded in this view, reproduced from a postcard owned by Mrs. C. Addison Pound and copied with her permission. Straus, anxious to be seen and to attract the local citizens to his sermons, toured the city each day in a buckboard with a team of horses, which were kept at Major W. R. Thomas' barn in northeast Gainesville. Straus impressed Gainesville folk, and at least one local boy was christened Clarence on his birth. University Boulevard in this picture is today's West University Avenue. Evangelism was very popular around this time, standing against science, political liberalism, the use of alcohol, and the breaking of the Sabbath. One of the most famous evangelists was Billy Sunday, who reputedly converted 300,000 souls to evangelism during the early 1900s.
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