ALACHUA COUNTY ‒ The Alachua County Criminal Courthouse will be renamed in honor of the late Judge Stephan P. Mickle. On Jan. 14, at 12 p.m. an event will be held to honor the life and legacy of the late judge. The event is at the main entrance of the Criminal Courthouse located at 220 S. Main Street, downtown Gainesville. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.
The event will feature speakers from Alachua County, the City of Gainesville and the Judiciary, as well as music, a color guard and words of inspiration. Alachua County middle and high school students participated in an essay/poetry contest based on a theme pertaining to Judge Mickle’s impact on history, society and the future. The winner of this year’s contest will share their essay during the ceremony. The contest, promoted through the Alachua County school system, will be an annual event.
A prolific barrier breaker, Judge Mickle’s legacy includes:
- The first African-American to practice law in Alachua County since Reconstruction,
- The first African-American County Court judge in Alachua County,
- The first African-American judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida,
- The first African-American and only lawyer from the Eighth Judicial to serve on the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee,
- The First African-American federal judge in the Northern District of Florida and
- The First African-American Chief Judge of the Northern District of Florida.
“It is a tremendous honor to see the courthouse named after my father,” said his daughter, Stephanie Mickle. “It's important for others to be able to see themselves in his life. His sacrifices and triumphs will inspire others for generations to come and impact our youth early in their lives and education.”
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