Portrait of Lee County trailblazer to be unveiled

January 15, 2018 CONRIC PR

One of the faces of Lee County history will soon appear in the building named in her honor. Administrators of the Melvin Morgan Constitutional Complex, along with Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann, will unveil a portrait of Melvin Morgan during a public ceremony at noon Friday, Jan. 12 on the third floor

of the complex at 2480 Thompson St., Fort Myers. Morgan is the only African American person ever to serve on the Lee County Commission. She was appointed in 1983 by Gov. Bob Graham, at the recommendation of Mann, to serve out the term of Fred Bartleson, who had resigned for health reasons.

The Dunbar native and longtime Lee County schoolteacher made a strong impression, building a reputation for being pleasant but firm and committed to fairness, justice and helping others. She brought experience as a mediator during the desegregation of Lee County schools. Morgan was the 1954 Dunbar High School salutatorian and later taught at the school. She was one of the first teachers to voluntarily leave her post to teach at an all- white elementary school.

In 1984, she returned to the school system, where she remained until her retirement in 1997. In 2013, the commission renamed the building that had been known as the Lee County Constitutional Complex after her.

A reception will be held in Morgan’s honor Friday at the unveiling, including a brief program with refreshments served to all in attendance.

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