President Franklin Roosevelt approved funding for the construction of a paved 5,590-foot, two-lane highway connecting the old Sanford-Orlando Highway (427) with the new Sanford-Orlando Highway (then State Road 3, now 17-92) in 1939. The new “parkway” provided a two-way entrance to Big Tree Park, replacing the dirt path that existed before.
The estimated construction cost was $14,226, completed in 1940, and an additional $13,000 in park improvement funds were also granted. When the roadway opened, it was called the Pennsylvania Parkway.
In 1963, the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners voted to rename General Joseph C. Hutchison Parkway highway. It was named in honor of their then-chairman and fellow Commission member.
Hutchison had lived in Seminole County since 1915, first as a math teacher in Sanford. He married a local girl, Annie Caldwell Whitner, in 1919. The two built a house in Indian Mound Village, near the St. Johns River, in 1927 and lived there until Joseph died in 1982.
Joseph served in the Army during WW1, being deployed to France but never seeing action. In 1935, he joined the Florida National Guard, before being promoted to brigadier general in 1940. He was deployed to the South Pacific in 1944 and 1945. He commanded the U.S. 31st Army Infantry Division in the South Pacific and accepted the Japanese surrender in the Philippines on September 8, 1945. For his WW2 service, he received the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. He was among the few national guardsmen to command a division during the war.
Locally, Joseph was a well-known and beloved citizen. He was a well-respected agriculturalist, managing at Chase & Company and serving as president for some local growers groups. Upon returning from World War II, he became a community leader and politician. He was chairman for the Seminole County Commission from 1960-1964.
In his later years, he was increasingly recognized for his contributions locally and abroad. The Kiwanis awarded him their annual Randall Chase Memorial Awards for outstanding citizenship in 1974. He is buried in Evergreen Municipal Cemetery in Sanford.