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Wednesday October 24, 2012 On this date in Gators history: Oct. 24, 1785

Updated: 11:42am, October 24

Thomas BrownThomas Brown, the second governor of the state of Florida, was born in Westmoreland County, Va.

In 1848, at the age of 63, Brown was sworn into office and in his fourth year signed into law a bill to promote higher education. The bill helped fund the upstart of East Florida Seminary in Ocala.

Though the school closed because of the Civil War, it reopened in 1866 in Gainesville -- in a building on NE 1st Street that became the old Methodist church -- and decades later became the University of Florida.

Hey, couldn't have the Gators without the man who put down UF's first roots, right?

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