Hillsborough County, FL
News Articles

A City's Great Development
Phenomonenal Growth of South Florida's Gateway to the Gulf

 (By Editor John L. Herring in Tifton, Georgia, Gazette)

When Hernando de Soto disembarked his steel clad warriors beside the limpid waters of Tampa Bay and led them northward in search of golden treasure he but followed the human error of trampling beneath his feet fortune's fairest favors and chasing a visionary mirage which led him onward through war, privation, massacre and barbarity, to find an unknown grave in a hostile land.

If a history of the hardy old battle scarred veteran could but glance backward today through five centuries of time, it would doubtless kick himself, figuratively speaking, for the opportunity it missed.

For the very soil beneath his horse's feet abounded in a wealth of which he never dreamed. Yearly, from the green embowered branches of its bounteous foliage, fall a golden shower which turns $5,000,000 into the channels of trade; a golden flood which had he ever dreamed thereof, would have rooted De Soto to fair Florida's soil and left the Mississippi undiscovered.

Not alone is the orange industry (although this fruit is the finest in the world) a source of wealth to South Florida. Its celery rivals that from far Kalamazoo, and on every hand the green fields smile beneath the warm sun; its strawberries are the first and finest in the eastern markets, often bringing $1 per quart; its tomatoes ripen to luscious perfection with the coming of Xmastide, and its pineapples are the sweetest and most delicious in the world. In proof of the vast scope of this fruit and truck industry, every night in shipping season, long freight trains leave Tampa for the north loaded with these products, and on every passenger train four to five express cars are filled with them.

But Tampa, the southern terminus of two of the South's greatest railway systems, has a source of wealth apart and distinct from any of these. When, twenty years ago, Yhor and Manara, two wealthy and enterprising Spaniards, conceived the idea of manufacturing high prices cigars from Havana tobacco on American soil, and selected Tampa as the most favorable location, they were looked at askance and the adventure considered a dangerous experiment. Yet now this industry feed near ten thousand mouths in the city of Tampa alone, and its products bring into the city a stream of wealth exceeding in value the orange crop of the entire State.

The simple word "growth" does not express the strides with which this beautiful Gateway to the Gulf is marching inward. To one who has been away from the city a year, the improvements are astonishing. Magnificent business blocks, of the handsomest and most modern style, have replaced the first wooden and brick structures, and every improvement made is of the most substantial character. The permanent nature of these buildings is the best tribute to local pride and capital's confidence in Tampa's future.

During the past years the government building casting nearly a half million has been completed. It has four floors on a fine elevation, approached by easy terraces, and is finished throughout in Georgia marble. Its fittings are of the most modern pattern, and the whole a building that would do credit to any city in the world.

The beautiful Catholic Church, an architect's dream, in spotless marble, is ready to use. Aside from its fine exterior, the interior work is magnificent and awe-inspiring. The soft light falling from the spacious dome through the stained glass windows of most delicate shade, accentuates the beauty of the elaborate carvings and the delicate tracery of the fresco work. The beautiful windows along represent a substantial fortune.

Architect Parslow has the elegant Spanish Hospital, on the Bay Shore Boulevard, the corner stone of which was laid with impressive ceremonies last summer, in a fair way for early completion. He is now preparing plans for two larger cigar factories and also for a large and beautiful brick building to be erected on the site of the present Spanish Casino.

Editor Stovall, of the Tribune, not only has attained the distinction of publishing the best daily south of Jacksonville and the leading morning paper of South Florida, but has also solved the great secret of how to live without work. His employees have also caught on the the problem and each one from poetic Ed Lumbright down, is waxing fat and beautiful as the days go by. When the editor of the Gazette was a member of the Tribune force eight years ago this problem was then close to a solution, which has since been happily arrived at.

While in the Tribune office I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. T. L. Stovall, brother to Wallace, who was down from the Blue Grass state for a couple of weeks in the land of sunshine and good cigars. It was his first visit in fifteen years, and he was astounded at the development of city and section.

Since my last visit Editor Stovall has weeded a beautiful and talented young lady from the good old New York State, who is a great social favorite and a fit mate for the talented man of her choice. To meet her was one of the most pleasant episodes of a very pleasant trip.

Out good looking and big hearted friend, Griff McCranie, one of the brainiest and most conservative sons of the many Beriden has loaned to Tampa, is one of the most important factors in the city's growth; is himself growing with it. I spent several pleasant hours taking in the city and suburbs behind his $1,000 high stepper. The turnout stands him in $1,250, and is well worth the money. Mr. McCranie, who for several years was one of the most trusted employees of the Plant System, has been in the wholesale live stock and butcher business for some time, but has engaged recently in the wholesale grocery and produce brokerage business, in which his marked talents assure him success.

Around Tampa is a striking illustration of the profit to the country in good roads. Whenever a paved road has been build the land is at once subdivided into lots, realty values double and treble, and handsome residences spring up on every hand. Hillsborough County has invested wisely in good roads, even if, as is persistently rumored, graft has robbed the people of much that were coming to them.

Tampa is filled to its capacity with northern people. Like all tourists, they are not so pleasant to meet, because they invariable know it all, but their annual coming is a source of wealth. Every train in and out of the city is crowded to its capacity, and often extra cars have to be added to accommodate the demands of travel.

The Atlantic Coast Line is giving a superb service. Elegant Pullman drawing room sleepers on night trains; Pullman day coaches and parlor cars on day trains, with through connections and quick schedules, intake a combination that kills the fatigue of travel and transposes it into a luxury. That this service is appreciated is evidence by the well filled cars.

[Source: Tampa Morning Tribune, Sunday, March 5, 1905 Transcribed and contributed by: Frances Cooley ]


A Port Tampa Wife Beater Unmercifully Castigated by Woman Port Tampa, Fla, April 28 – Edward Tucker, a merchant of this place, was taken form his home last night and unmercifully whipped by female whitecaps. Tucker has been in the habit of going home drunk and abusing his wife.  Some time ago he was warned that he must treat his wife better or he would be severely dealt with.  Last night Tucker went home drunk and soon Mrs. Tucker was heard screaming. Shortly after a number of men entered Tucker’s residence and dragged out to the outskirts of the town where a number of women wearing white caps were waiting.  Tucker was stripped to the waist and lashed to a tree. Then the women each of whom were armed with a rawhide, began to whip him. Tucker’s screams were heard a mile. When the women finished the man’s back looked like it had been knouted. The skin had been cut in a dozen places, and blood was streaming form the cuts. Tucker promised never to abuse his wife again. It is said several of the most prominent women of the place were engaged in the affair.

[Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, May 2, 1895]
- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney 


Search Continues for Seven Tampans Lost as the Atlantic Seas Break Up Barge.

WEST PALM BEACH, Jan. 13---George W. Richardson, 37, of Tampa get first aid treatment in St. Mary's Hospital here from Dr. D. J. Tusel, intern. He is presumed to be the only survivor of the sinking of the barge Arizona Sword.

A Tampa barge captain and six of his seven crewmen, also from Tampa were presumed lost yesterday after savage seas bettered the 306 foot sulpher-laden Arizona Sword to pieces in the Atlantic Ocean 10 miles off Palm Beach.

Coast Guard helicopters and a number of surface craft, including the Navy destroyer USS Hunt, continued to search for the missing men, but there were no reports of life sighted.

The barge's cook, George W. Richardson, 37, of 6913 21st Street, apparently was the only known survivor. He escaped by crawling through a porthole and was picked up by the tug Sally R, which was towing the barge from Beaumont Tex., to Savannah Georgia having left Jan. 6. (Continuted on Page 9)

(Continued from Page 1)

Search Continues for Seven Tampans Lost in Atlantic.

The husky 220-pound ship's cook told how he clung to bits of wreckage for 20 minutes after the barge went down and before the tug picked him up.

"I was sitting there talking to one of the guys on watch," 37 year old 6 foot-2 Richardson said at St. Mary's Hospital where he was examined.

"There was one at the wheel and one on stand by. We were talking. On the barge they were working, talking and playing cards."

"I don't know that I heard anything. You just get used to the feel of a ship. It was about 1 o'clock and I was in the messhall."

"All of a sudden I got the feeling that everything was moving and twisting. The stern began to shake. I ran back to escape. Everything was in such a turmoil I could'nt get out. Then I climbed through a porthole."

Caught Hold

Richardson said he was in the water about 20 minutes swimming and trying to stay afloat, when he saw some pieces of wood and caught hold.

"I clung to them about an hour and a half before they picked me up." he continued. "I feel awfully sorry for those aboard. Most of them I sailed with for three years. I don't know what made the barge breakup."

Richardson suffered only bruises and exhaustion, the hospital said. He received no sedatives.

Richardson said 15-foot waves broke up up the barge within minutes after the tow cable parted and he had no time to grab a life jacket. The sinking occurred in dense fog about 2 a.m. yesterday.

The Missing

Missing and feared dead were Capt. Joseph L. Cooper, 6301 S. Richard avenue; David N. Broye, oiler, formerly of 701 N. Hubert st.; Angel Benitez, seaman, 9425 19th st.; Thomas Franklin Dobbins, seaman, W. Cluster and E. Creek Drive; Markos Franggos, seaman, 205 W. Ingrahm st.; F. O. Fernandez, seaman, 905 17th Ave., Juan Valdez Jr., seaman, 2707 17th Ave.

It was the second time the barge had gone down. She sank in the Cape Cod Coast after a collision May 5, 1951. The craft was salvaged and refloated a year later by the George M. Byrne Co. of Boston, which sold her to the Blue Stake Towing Co. of Tampa in 1954. The De Bardeleben Marine Corp. & Tampa Marine Co., is the operator. No officials of either Tampa firm were available for comment.

Known at the time of the sinking as the Arizona Sword, the barge ironically also was carrying a load of sulfur when she collided with the S. S. Berwindale and sank. There were no casualties in that crash. The vessel was built in 1945 in Portland, Oregon.

Converted from a freighter to a barge in 1954, the craft was carrying 5000 tons of sulpher when the sea claimed her yesterday. Coast Guard officials said they were checking reports the craft may have been overloaded.

Licensed from coastal and west Indies work, she was in drydock two weeks ago and passed inspection by the American Bureau of Shipping, the Coast Guard and the Tampa marine firm, however.

Flares Dropped

A distress call from the towing tug brought three coast guard helicopters to the scene shortly after the sinking. They dropped flares to the light the area and bring nearby ships into the search. Soon, bad weather forced the Coast Guard to send out only one in time.

"We spotted debris, hatch covers, mattresses and planks in the water, but no sign of life," Cmdr. John J. Daugherty, one of the copter pilots reported yesterday afternoon.

"It's pure soup out there," he added, "but we'll stick it out as long as we know there might be someone alive."

Among the civilian vessels, standing by at the scene was the Ocean Monarch, a passenger liner returning to Port Everglades after her maiden cruise, a six-day voyage through the Caribbean. She had been scheduled to dock 8 a.m. yesterday.

Seymour Bombis, a Ft. Lauderdale news reporter who flew over the scene in a helicopter said he saw orange life preservers floating among the debris but no sign of a survivor.

"The swells were running 15 to 20 feet, and there was a driving rain." He said. "It was dangerous weather for flying."

The sinking was the latest of a series of recent misfortunes to follow the two Tampa firms, the marine company and its towing subsidiary.

A spectacular fire destroyed a warehouse owned by the firms at the north end of the Tampa estury for a loss of more than $100,000 early last month.

Cradle Damaged

Last April three days after the De Bardelebon firm of New Orleans assumed control of the enterprises, the marine company reported that it might be forced to abandon the underwater ship repair phase of its operations after damage in its marine railway cradle the preceding month.

The firm which also had two contend with complaints that it's phosphate loading operations were E. Roeding estuary cars and equipment, has two other subsidiaries. Tampa Terminals, Inc., and the Florida Stevedoring Co. Its assets in June, 1959, were listed at $4 million, making it one of the largest ship repair firms on the Florida West Coast, with an outstanding production record during World War II.

[Source: The St. Pete Times, January 14, 1960.] Transcribed and submitted by Tam Inman.


Search Halted for Survivors of Wrecked Barge

WEST PALM BEACH, Jan. 14--The coast guard today abandoned the search for seven men lost with the 400 foot barge, Arizona Sword, battered to pieces in savage seas in the Atlantic.

Helicopters and surface craft searched an area centered 10 miles off Palm Beach all day yesterday. The vessel went down before daybreak yesterday.

A Coast Guard spokesman said, "We don't think there will be any resumption of the search unless other developments occur. We feel anybody in the water would have been found because of the adequate coverage of the search."

The only known survivor is George W. Richardson of Tampa, the barge's cook.

The men who apparently went down with the Arizona Sword when she sank with her cargo of 5000 tons of sulpher were the Captain Joseph Lee Cooper, Angel Benitez, D. M. Broye, Thomas F. Dobbins, Juan Valdez Jr., Markos Franggcose and F. O. Fernandez, all of Tampa.


Still unsure whether husband and father was dead or alive after he and six others went down with the Arizona Sword, the family of Seaman Angel Benitez resolutely stands a grim watch at their home at 9425 19th St. yesterday afternoon. From left are Isabel, twins Linda and Jeanette, Mrs. Benitez, and Angel Jr.--(Tribune photo by Bill Wilson)

Coast Guard report on the sinking.

Personal note from the transcriber: Story told to her by Angel and Danny's brother Rene Benitez was: Angel was on the Arizona Sword and his brother Danny was on the tugboat Sally R that was towing her. When the Arizona started to sink, the line between the two boats had to be severed. Danny knew this would mean his brother would go down and one of the other crew men had to punch him and knock him out so that they could cut the rope.
[Source: The Tampa Tribune, January 15, 1961.]
Transcribed and submitted by Tam Inman.


Two Boys Die In West Tampa Home Fire

Two children, Antonia Garcia, Jr., 10, and Armando Garcia Jr., 7, cousins, were burned to death yesterday morning shortly before 7 o'clock in a fire that swept through their home at 1925 Palmetto street in West Tampa. Two other children were saved, Gloria Garcia, 10, sister of Armando, by jumping from a second story window, and Robert Garcia, 3, brother of Antonio who was rescued by his mother, Mrs. Antonio Garcia.

A grandmother, Mrs. Felicia Hernandez, 65, suffered a broken arm and a deep gash in her head in a fall down the stairs in the excitement that followed discovery of the fire. Antonio Garcia, father of one of the families, and Mrs. Armando Garcia, had left a short time before the fire was discovered to work in cigar factories. Armando Garcia is living in New York.

House in Flames

Fireman from the West Tampa station, the first to arrive, said they found virtually the whole interior in flames, and started an immediate search for the children, reported to be in a northwest room. Fireman said the smaller boy was lying on top of his cousin, a quilt wrapped around his head. Assistant Fire Chief Torres said it was apparent Antonio, the elder, had made a heroic effort to save the smaller child and that he had fallen with him in his arms. Their bodies were not badly burned although they were apparently suffocated.

Could Arouse Boys

Gloria, who escape with a few scratches from her high jump, said she shook her brother, Armando, and yelled to him that the house was on fire, then ran. They were sleeping together. "But he would not get up." Gloria said later. "He said he wanted some more sleep. I think he thought I was playing that the house was on fire. We often play at getting one another up in the morning, because we don't like to get up." Glorida and the two boys were pupils of a Catholic school in West Tampa.

Tried to save children

Some members of the two families and their friends criticized the fire department and charged that there was unnecessary delay, even that the lives of the boys might've been saved. A complaint was made to Aldermen D'Arpa of the West Tampa District and The Tribune received a dozen calls about it. Fire Chief White and assistant Chief Torres said the department had done all that could be done.

Fireman said they had difficulty in preventing relatives and friends from rushing in to the flaming hall to certain death. Several were trying to get the children out as the firemen arrived.

Mariano Garcia, Jr., 12, climbed the balcony of the house and broke open a door leading to the balcony, but could not enter. As the firemen flooded the stairs with water, Alymiro Valez, 19, Hillsborough high pupil, was first up the stairs and got to the two boys. The bodies were taken to the Tampa Hospital. The fire is believed to have started from a wood kitchen stove, which friends said was left burning by Antonio Garcia and Mrs. Armando Garcia when they went to work about 6:30 o'clock. Assistant Chief Torres said the West Tampa fire crew at work when he got there under the direction of Lieutenant Julius Jones, who was searching the rooms. Torress immediately sent in a call to No. 5 station, Florida and Ross avenues, and No. 5 crew put out the fire. The other station confined its efforts to the search on the second floor for persons trapped in the building.

Had to Hold Mother

"I'm sure Lieutenant Jones did all that he could," Torres said, "We all had more than we could handle for a while, and I had to hold Mrs. Garcia, who repeatedly tried to enter the burning house, until police came." " The department has two smoke masks and we carried them in the chief's car; I had them with me when we got to the fire, and they were worn by fireman Jimmy White and Bob Little, but because the children were not on a bed, and not in the room which we expected to find them, we did not discover them until the men were able to removed the masks. The bodies were found by White and H. L. Campbell.

I know we were criticized for delay, but we knew no one could enter any part of that house until we had water. It was tragic, but I know the firemen did the best they could." Although the interior of the house was ruined, the frame and outside were not burned.


There are several photos that go with this article. The description beneath them reads as follows: Photo by Roscoe Frey, Tribune Staff. Top: Flame-swept room of the house at 1925 Palmetto street, where Armando Garcia, 7, and Tony Garcia, 9, were suffocated in fire yesterday.

Lower left: X marks the window from which Glorida Garcia dropped to safety. The boys were just inside the right window in the front of the house.

Middle: Armando Garcia, son of Mr. and Mrs. Armando Garcia, one of the victims.

Lower right: Armando Garcia, his mother, Mrs. Armando Garcia, and sister, Gloria.

[Source: The Tampa Morning Tribune, Wednesday, March 4, 1936.]
Transcribed and submitted by Tam Inman.

Mayor Chancey Asks For Report on Fire Claiming Two Lives

Mayor Chancy said yesterday he had asked Fire Chief White to submit a report to him on the fire in West Tampa Tuesday morning in which two boys, Armando Garcia, 7, and Antonio Garcia, 10, lost their lives. The department was critized by relatives of the children.

Alderman D' Apra of the West Tampa District is investigating, and Fire Marshal Gus Bremer said he was looking into the situation. The house is at 1925 Palmetto street. The fire was not discovered until almost the whole interior of the house was ablaze and although other members of the two families that occupied the two story building escaped, the two boys, cousins, were overcome with smoke before they could find a way out.

Justice of Peace Walters said there would be no inquest. "is a pitiful case, but I found no evidence of foul play or negligence." said Walters. "I heard at first that the children had been locked in a room, but I found that to be untrue. I am sure their death was due to fire that caught from a kitchen stove, and unless it is developed that there was foul play or that someone was negligent I will not hold an inquest." Walter said he would have authority to inquire into the performance of the fire department if there was any evidence of negligence, delay or inefficiency.


Officials Give Report On Death Of Boys

The bodies of Antonio Garcia Jr., 10, and Armando Garcia Jr., 7, who were suffocated to death in their burning home at 1925 Palmetto avenue Tuesday morning were found by firemen within five minutes of their arrival.

This was the assertion of Fire Chief White yesterday in a report made to Mayor Chancey in answer to protests that there was a delay in the rescue attempts. He said the boys must've been dead long before the fire trucks arrived.

Assistant Chief Torres reported that the condition of the bodies showed they must've been exposed to terrific heat for at least 20 minutes, while Lieut. J. J. Jones, in charge of the West Tampa crew, first to arrive said he tried again and again to enter the house but "it was a furnace of smoke and flames in which nothing could live."

Chief White said an additional report would be made later with statements from bystanders who saw the house enveloped in flames before the department arrived.

Report Says Fireman Prompt

The alarm was received at headquarters and the West Tampa station at 6:55 a.m., the report said. Torres and three men went from headquarters in the squad car. Lieut. Jones and his men responded immediately from the West Tampa station. They laid out 750 feet of hose. A ladder was first raised to the window of the northeast room where the firemen were told the children slept. Lieutenant Jones' statement follows: "On arrival at the scene, smoke and flames were coming out of every door and window of the upper story. Despite this fact, I tried again and again to enter the room where the children were supposed to be." "This room was a furnace of smoke and flame in which nothing could live. I was sure the children were dead already, and after viewing the bodies I am convinced they had been dead quite some time before the department arrived.

Smoke Rises From House

White and Chief Torres, and his men could see smoke rising from the house as they crossed the Cass street bridge nearly two miles away. They got there just as Jones and D. G. Fulford, one of his men, were trying to enter the room.

Torres sent a man to call the station at Florida and Ross avenues for help, and ordered the hose line passed up the ladder to cool off the room so Jones and Fulford could get in. They entered but did not find the children. Torres then ordered the ladder transferred to the second story porch in front from which the window of the southeast room was kicked in. Torres, J. E. White and H. L. Campbell found the bodies just inside.

"On my arrival the entire upper floor and most of the lower floor were enveloped in flames and thick black smoke was pouring from all openings," Assistant Chief Torres said. Mrs. Felicia Hernandez was frantically trying to dash back into the house in search of her grandchildren.

Grandmother Kept Out

"I gave orders for her to be kept out, for it would have been murder to allow her to attempt a rescue." The smoke was so thick and the heat so intense that I would not allow any of my men to enter until preceded by a line of hose to bring the temperature down to a point where man could stand it. I was satisfied the children were already dead of suffocation, and after seeing the condition of the bodies I'm convinced they had been dead sometime before our arrival; for not more than 5 minutes lapsed between our arrival and the finding of the bodies, and their condition showed they had been exposed to terrific heat for at least 20 minutes."

The station at Ross and Florida avenues received its call at seven o'clock which would indicate that Lieutenant Jones was trying to get into the room where he was told the children lay exactly five minutes after the first call was received by the department. The second fire crew laid another line of hose and fought the fire, taking no part in the search for the children. The interior of the house was wrecked, but framework and the exterior were not greatly damaged.

[Source: The Tampa Tribune, Saturday, March 7, 1936.]

Transcribed and submitted by Tam Inman.


Two From Tampa, One Sulphur Springs

GAINESVILLE, Dec. 17. --(Special.) Two students from Tampa and one from Sulphur Springs are included among the 22 freshmen and 20 sophomores listed on the University of Florida honor roll for the first semester. The role of junior and senior classes has not yet been released. One Tampan, Nicholas Capitano, registered the highest average of any on the role, 3.00. The minimum requirement for the honor list is a percentage of 2.3.

[Source: The Tampa Tribune; Page 17, Friday, December 18, 1931.
Transcribed and submitted by Tam Inman]


Young women's committee of the women's league of St. Andrews Episcopal church has silver tea at the home of Mrs. T. C. Taliaferro, 305 Hyde Park avenue, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

[Source: The Tampa Tribune; Page 10, Friday, December 16, 1932.]
Transcribed and submitted by Tam Inman]


The Red, White and Blue club will meet this afternoon at 2 o'clock at the home of Mrs. Gable, 6107 Taliaferro street.

[Source: The Tampa Tribune; Page 9, Thursday, March 2, 1933.]
Transcribed and submitted by Tam Inman]


The Silver Thimble Sewing club will meet this afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the home of Mrs. A. A. Westhoven, 4005 El Prado boulevard.

[Source: The Tampa Tribune; Page 9, Thursday, March 2, 1933.]
Transcribed and submitted by Tam Inman]


Two Additions Are Made To Woodlawn Cemetery

Many Changes Made Toward Betterment of Burying Ground--New Pavilion at Oaklawn

Two large additions to Woodlawn Cemetery were platted last week and will be recorded this week, one being to the south of the old cemetery, and the other being to the north and back of the Jewish and Spanish cemeteries. The original plat of Woodlawn cemetery contains 274 blocks, while the two additions raise the total number of blocks to 461, an increase of 187. Thirteen blocks, each containing eight lots, have been saved by platting the space which had been reserved for an office and placing the office of the cemetery in another place.

While part of the new sections of Woodlawn Cemetery is on low land, there are a number of fine lots on high ground and these the cemetery committee, which has the work in charge, intends to enclose in decorative artificial stone walls a foot or two high and sell at slightly higher price than the others. This week the committee will advertise for new bids for grading and grubbing the new area, which alread belonged to the city, and as soon as this is accomplished all the roadways and drives in the entire cemetery are to be curbed and paved with rock, the work to be done by city prisoners.

The cemetery committee, headed by Chairman Falk, has been giving a good account of itself recently and has already wrought great improvements at Woodlawn. Visitors now hardly recognize it as the same place. The cemetery has been thoroughly cleaned and a special attention has been devoted to the potter's field which had not been cleaned in years. The committee has also had the city prisoners at work on the Catholic Cemetery and on Oaklawn Cemetery, to the great improvement of both. In Oaklawn Cemetery the city is constructing a pavilion which will cost $400, and will add much to the place.

Much time has been spent in arranging a system of keeping the records which will answer the demands of the day. The old system, if it could be dignified by such a term, in which the records were kept was such that it was almost impossible to ascertain whether any given person was buried in the cemetery unless the exact or approximate date of interment was known. Since October 1, the records have been kept in alphabetical order and according to the card system of filing, so that any information can be ascertained at a second's notice. Efforts are now being made to go over the old records and arrange them according to the new system placing all of the records on the same convenient and satisfactory basis as that recently adopted.

[Source: The Tampa Tribune; Page 8; Sunday, October 23, 1910.
Transcribed and submitted by Tam Inman.

Mr. Berrien Platt

Mr. Berrien Platt, of Cork, Hillsborough county, Florida, has a tree which bears annually 7,000 to 10,000 oranges.

[Source: Cuthbert Appeal, Mar. 7, 1879 -- Page 2.]
Transcribed and submitted by Sheila Pitts Massie]

A Terrible Murder.

A most foul and dastardly murder was committed on the Hillsborough River, near New Smyrna, in Florida, on Friday night. The names of the persons murdered are Miss A. H. Bruce, of New York city, Frank Bruce Packwood, 4 years old, son of F. J. Packwood; Mrs. L. D. Hatch and her boy, 6 years old.

A ghastly sight met the eyes of the first visitors to the premises Saturday morning. In one corner of the main room on the floor, lay the body of Mrs. Hatch, shot through the left eye. In the same room, lying on the bed, was the body of her son, shot under the left eye, and with his throat cut from ear to ear.

In an adjoining room, lying on the floor, was the body of Frank Packwood, shot through the head and with his throat cut also. In the same room, lying upon the bed was the body of Miss Bruce. Her person had been outraged and her skull and face had been smashed with some heavy weapyn [sic]. Her face has also been shot through and her throat had been cut.

At the entrance of the broken window a large revolver was found, two chambers of it having been emptied, on the bed by the side of Miss Bruce lay a double-barreled shotgun, with the stock broken into splinters. On the bed near the body of the Hatch boy lay a long bladed butcher knife. There is not clue to the murderers. This crime is almost equal to the Woolfolk murder in this state.

[Source: Daily Times-Enterprise, Dec. 15, 1891 -- Page 1.]
Transcribed and submitted by Sheila Pitts Massie]


The Grand Jury of Hillsborough county, Florida, in their late general presentment, declare against the application of force, and avow their preference of a course of policy which shall quietly crowd out the Indians by settlement. They suggest a survey of the peninsula, and a grant of one hundred and sixty acres to each settler, with an armed force of Rangers operating in advance of the settlers to protect them.

[Source: Albany Patriot, May 27, 1853 -- Page 2.]
Transcribed and submitted by Sheila Pitts Massie]


Tampa, Fla.) Guardian.
Hillsborough county has the largest orange tree in south Florida. It measure five feet eleven inches in circumference, forks three feet eleven inches from the ground, each fork branches into four large limbs and it is thirty-five feet high and forty feet from limb to limb.---This tree bears ten thousand oranges. William H. Holden, of Osage county, also has a very large tree that measures four feet nine inches in circumference.

[Source: Brunswick Advertiser, Oct. 11, 1879 -- Page 2.]
Transcribed and submitted by Sheila Pitts Massie]

Hamilton Disston

Hamilton Disston wanted to return his land that he bought from the State of Florida for taxation at 25 cents per acre, but the county commissioners of Hillsborough have assessed all in that county at $1.25 per acre.

[Source: Advertiser and Appeal, Sep. 2, 1882 -- Page 5.]
Transcribed and submitted by Sheila Pitts Massie]


Col. Stephen M. Sparkman, of Hillsborough, Fla., has been nominated by the Democrats to represent the First Florida district in Congress.

[Source: Waycross Weekly Herald, Aug. 25, 1894 -- Page 2.]
Transcribed and submitted by Sheila Pitts Massie]

Visit our National Site

All data on this site is protected by copyright law with full rights reserved for original submitters.
Genealogy Trails ©

Hillsborough County Home Page | Florida Home Page | Genealogy Trails Home Page