The Coastal Star

Judge James R. Knott Award: Historic Courtroom, West Palm Beach – April 25

Robert Ganger holds his Judge James R. Knott Historical Contribution Award,

flanked by J. Grier Pressly III (left), chairman of the board of the Historical Society

of Palm Beach County, and Harvey Oyer III.

Photo provided by Capehart Photography

    Robert Ganger, a vice chairman of the board of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, won the group’s Judge James R. Knott Historical Contribution Award, its highest honor, for his help in securing the endorsement of government officials and raising $9 million to restore the 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse.
    Ganger, of Gulf Stream, helped persuade the County Commission to not tear down the historic courthouse and worked to negotiate a lease for the society to use the building. “This was the most pivotal, challenging, exhilarating and scary time in this institution’s long history, and Bob was one of the steady hands on the tiller during the bumpy ride,” said Harvey Oyer III, who nominated Ganger and presented the award April 25.
     The Knott award, for contributing to the preservation, promotion or enrichment of county history, is named for a judge who was president of the historical society from 1957 to 1969 and wrote historical vignettes for The Palm Beach Post from 1977 to 1985.
    Oyer’s sister, Susan Oyer of Boynton Beach, was given the society’s Fannie James Pioneering Award for her efforts as president of the Lake Worth Pioneers’ Association Inc. to keep alive the memories and spirit of the county’s earliest pioneers.
     In May, the association will hold its 123rd annual meeting, where stories are passed on to younger generations. James, an African-American pioneer, was the first postmistress of the Jewell Post Office (now Lake Worth), from 1889 to 1903.

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