by the Historical Society
of Palm Beach County
Established in 1989, this prestigious annual award recognizes the achievements of an individual or organization that has contributed to the preservation, promotion, or enrichment of Palm Beach County history. This contribution should enrich Palm Beach County residents for generations to come.
The award honors and is named for the late Honorable Judge James R. Knott, who served as President of the Society from 1957 to 1969. Judge Knott is fondly remembered as a dedicated historian, and author of the “Brown Wrapper” newspaper series as well as three books on our area’s history. This award is presented at the Society’s Annual Meeting held in April each year. Deadline for nominations is March 1 of the year of the award.
Guidelines for Nominations
Who may nominate?
Anyone interested in the history of Palm Beach County may identify an individual or organization that they believe would be an appropriate candidate for the award. Nominators may not identify an organization of which they are an officer, member, or employee. Anonymous nominations shall not be accepted. Nominations must be submitted on forms provided by the Society.
Who is eligible for nominations?
The goal of the Judge James R. Knott Historical Contribution Award is to recognize individuals or organizations for their contributions to the history of Palm Beach County, those who have worked to preserve, promote, or enrich our history for future generations. Individuals must live in Palm Beach County, and organizations must serve Palm Beach County.
How many nominees will be honored with the award?
Generally, the award goes annually to a single individual or organization. However, if circumstances warrant, more than one individual or organization may be honored in one year.
Nominations for the Judge James R. Knott Historical Contribution Award will be made through a public process. However, those making nominations should not inform nominees that their names have been submitted for consideration. All nominations remain the confidential property of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
1989 Bessie Wilson Dubois
1990 Barbara Hoffstot
1991 Ambassador Earl E. T. Smith
1992 Mary C. Linehan
1993 Donald W. Curl, Ph.D.
1994 Antonette Dennison, Ph.D.
1995 James A. Ponce
1996 Katharine Dickenson
1997 Frances Bourque
1998 American Methodist Episcopal Church
– – – – Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea
– – – – St. Edwards Catholic Church
– – – – Royal Poinciana Chapel
– – – – St. Paul’s AME Church
– – – – First Presbyterian Church
1999 The Garden Club of Palm Beach
2000 Richard J. Procyk
2001 Eliot Kleinberg
2002 Donald J. Trump
2003 Judge Marvin Mounts
2004 The Palm Beach Post
2005 Flagler Museum
2006 Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds
2007 Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners
2008 Flagler System, Inc.
2009 Harvey Oyer III
2010 Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum
2011 Robert Hudson Neff
2012 Dr. Reginald Stambaugh
2013 Ineria E. Hadley-Hudnell
2014 L. J. Parker
2015 Palm Beach Centennial Committee
2016 Robert W. Ganger
2017 Rick Gonzalez, AIA
2018 Marion Cone
To submit a nomination, please download an application here and submit it directly to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
Fannie James Pioneer Achievement Award
Established in 2003, this award recognizes the achievements of individuals or organizations that have significantly contributed to preserving and sharing the history of Palm Beach County’s pioneering days. The award is named for the late Fannie James, an African American who served as the first postmistress of the Jewell (now Lake Worth) Post Office, which was open from 1889 until 1903. The winner will be selected from the nominations received, judged for the historical impact, relevance, and significance of the contribution, and announced in late April of each year at the Society’s Annual Meeting. Deadline for applications is March 1 of the year of the award.
The inaugural Fannie James Award was presented to Laurita Collie Sharpp, granddaughter of one of West Palm Beach’s earliest black settlers, John Collie, and the daughter of one of West Palm Beach’s first black dentists, renowned community leader Dr. Warren Hale Collie. In 2002, Sharpp donated her treasured collection of photographs, diaries, and letters, chronicling over a century of her family’s history, to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. They include her grandmother’s diaries, old photographs depicting West Palm Beach life from the 1890s through the 1940s, and a letter from legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Her donation, the “Collie Collection,” has preserved an integral part of Palm Beach County’s history: a rarely-seen glimpse into the lives of black pioneers who helped shape the landscape of Palm Beach County beginning in the late 19th century.
2004 Robert Hazard
2005 Roy Rood
2006 The Adolf Hofman Family
2007 Michael Bornstein
2008 Ethel Sterling Williams Family
2015 Helen Vogt Greene
2016 Lake Worth Pioneers’ Association, Inc.
2017 Wells Fargo Private Bank
2018 Donald L. Kiselewski, P.E.