Title: Henry Bradley Plant
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055678/00001
 Material Information
Title: Henry Bradley Plant
Physical Description: 12 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: McLaws, Lafayette
Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Florida
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: S.l
Publication Date: 193-?]
Subject: History -- Hillsborough County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Lafayette McLaws.
General Note: Typescript for the Federal Writers' Project.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055678
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002097433
oclc - 34977436
notis - AKT6208

Full Text

Sther e o na itte hea e. The namiof
a-r. J i a- a -


S 1l and ef the Tampa By Hotel. Plant the pioneer the ade

railroad and steamship system, the dreamer who made ahies oiw rauoase

true. The Tampa Bay Hotel was his supreme realisation of
. *- '.. ..^ .,^
it he wrote.the City of Tampa on the maps of the world. ,. -; -

For nearly 50 years the minarets of the world famous hotel iA

their bowry, semi-troploal foliage has been th triad mark ofthe City of

Tampa. In thoseyears the olty has grown from a fall huddle ofi'wode :,

houses across the Billsborough River to an ever aoereaslfti opol 6fg

brooks asad steel* From a small area across the river,. it aew- ohe-s
-" "^ :- .' -" '": .-.-" :

miles in every direction froa the great Moorish build~ i -

S. : Henry B.radley plant as born on a farm near ifor
-.,Hnr ... bor
:.at- of preeroan f ere folks. His father died An ws six ears

and his mother soon remarried -She moved with her family to t o

.her nw husband in Nev York State. A few yeas later thefa l

lew Haven* It was shortly after this more that' Hnrya pda -pis his

graindMtherPlant. 'This old lady was so impressed geth te ee

the' lad that she sihhed him to become a minister and offered
-. .- '. ; -.. "
-hroh T.le with th.at prof eion in iw..

2 5
^ ^^^' At 't h tiJme ow en'la only boy' 6plamSme

Ssinlsters or lawyers were oousidered for college edaeamtn
:'- .. -.. + :\"--. .. ... ... i:'- : ^
intlig tn a family .bei" "l. .d. In the eas o -

lan t *in,,Ili-euIh boy h .ime,,.la I.IIOefms I
." q." .r + + ,+ v++-+, +. V .

three or four sll Jobs g himself as a-

Tork, 'a sm slildewheel steamr plyia betwin oew Have.. 7rCity

S Th i was I 1837. within a short time he was promoted to the poitia-of

:dok han, a more anly job. Speaking of his work as a deok had on

INe Tork, years later, Mr. Plant said .: -

"That is where I got my first exporioee in the express
business. On the steamer Iew York the dook hands slept below i hnbe fore--,

:=~i- :-...: -
eastle, an unoomfortably small plaoe in what was known as the '. *e'.of

S -he boat. We took our meals in the kitchen, h standing Fr** o ad

.:: press pareols were stored in various places boat thedeek
properly -aredfor. : .

.:- One day the eaptain oonoeived the idea of using
stateroom forward of the wheel. I was given ohargi. and
. ; J ..... ,< *-, ... . .. :. .* '- .
:,P there for.-o to leep That a the happiest d.,n my life

there I took y first lessions in the express busIiness.

S- .-. So wll did Mr. Plant handle that -mall 40bthatwhe
d, .- Expres tra s.errd their buaia es froa. te hi

-,. was shortly after this that he married Ellen Elizabeth 31ae. s
was i o ro orkityoffsies e

hearts of,-the Mampress:Campeaa he was in 1852-m aM
the ss.Co p 's h0!I


odii d nthi ptioa in a l sabeth

was ordered south for health. After a short stay in A sjai a t

time famous as a resort for oonsuOptive, Mr. Plant moved h wife to

Jalksonvlle, At that time Ja'konvillle ws a small village ooml d posed.l
-. ,,. '. .-- '. -A ..
Most exolusively of health s**kers from the oolder sections of the oouatry.

It ohief assets at that time us the winter homes of Mrs*. Harriet IBoherP..

Stove and of Hezakiah Butterworth, author of the' then widely rd s

v C

-' ". .' -.*+ *'* -. . -. -* *+.:-.. :'+
It was daria this stay with his wife that Mr-PlSat ei -i *d.

-r' + -^ : o-+- .' ';. It ia
the possibilities i f F/lorida. The Civil uar.was

Sa'nd other 'offi ifalif Uthe- Adams EZpress Company no tim. o 6

Fear w that ther property in the South would be oofineated, 1 1

i outh of i shi-nton re turned over to Mr. Plant. ed

Southern band-holders he orgfiasod the Southern qiExess so

Georgia oorporatien th headquarters at WPleat
.- .v -... ^ y.- +.,, -. .. ...I-,
eleted president.

S Dzrin, the four terrible years that followedMr.Plet

low Englad. born and, known as a Northern sympathiser 1
Sconfidene of th. 'Coifederuy* Hi 8uatbher Express C. ay
oolleoted ,tariff rtheCof r trate Governmtbt

ms ais -nd
trai Itth -i f s AM rt Plat'
1^ W d ir ^^ 41*4~l OI18 t Pa *1 ansBB

a" ane tha his paser .tams order h .it..

ala .. r --roian coutrles erned by way t

arter of aeatmry later hnhe lannid to build the fM.ua
luaxariou hotel in the world, hir elected that flower of tob Golden ,eof|

MNorish civilization in CRain as his model, X,

Daring that quarter of a ontry Heary Bradley Plant, president

of the Southern Bress Company, had beoooe one of the grgqt railroad build- -..

e of the ooantry. At the end of the Ciril War, the Southern railroads

were little more than masses of Junk Plant and Colonel Henry S.- BRa of .

Savannah, undertook the task of'plaoin theo on their. feet enee: re oloiel

Haines had bee one of the foremost officers of General Ro beI Ue4

transportation offioori duri the Civil War. Immediately aftr theloIs
.- .. -- a. -. ~.- .. 1M
the war these -t n *.0 and their asoolates aeqired, control a the 14i
., ', .-*'-.-.- -4 -.
Charleton and Saannah Railroad, Florida and Western, atthat

in& to Jaksioavlll e via Livet Oak the Florida Central and Pa slar

road and one or two other lines extending. Into -Gorgia and iUabame
-. -, .. -,. -. .*. _
a s:rprisinly, short time Mr. Plants genius as a railroad b il r r abi

itated the financial and agricultural resoero1a of the oBoathudr

'.*A,.IA ,-::.' "-" ;: : .
Marl in 188a, ehanoo broaght Plaat In ootaet with J Ii

pthen residet of a so proJeoting a railroad from Saaford

Winter Park aid Orl a Later Mr. Igraham was to booe he

t of Henry'M.la easti 'et firt rl BS
"k__W, 8

S4.- x* -*-.-*.--a; *-~.~-*.. '- ~
;c : r -r ,. ,

'I ms walkIn in ia.r.t in st k ie ae*^ralld

kedt m -. .
j "".- ."-" j-7." .+ 4- :

0' S that lderly mtbleaII t ont the other ld* of the stro e tebt-he

nl.the logUblack troadolth soat and the silk hat? That i. a a I

I" oboslA meets. H is Henry B. Pleat, president of the 8sauana4. 1lorida1
'ad Wsteor Railroad Coaagrq I travelled with his on my last trip dowi fro :

)lw York.'

S *en I was intro" sod* Mr. Plant add to *S' o yes we thr .y-. *O
Sma who is building a railroad from anord to somwh"re in South Floridat

Tee, Mr. Plaat, I replied *we have a little marrow.gage dea
thbe w. feel qult prold of. e xpe t to open that rallroiA to Ui sSime sM -.
S- I .,
ti .ext w I shall be mre than glad to have yoa ad yr friite .em
da m ud be our guests at the OP' ..e g
T -
3 Ploat told a of his parobase of a steer, the *Br om B.Plra '
4ad his pla -of rugoinig it e er Captain Tim titgetrald to -afordo m

asked hi for a *ionnatio with ear railroad, snobh s w had witL the f. i

le three days a week, saying I would like to got 3. Plat' s at-

for alera toe day He agrd, to this and also said he woid Jpin erpw'.i

.o eour aitial trip ver our am road... He asked bho w ewld Mtai wO.'oOv. '_
S i .. %, o'
of. I told him to bring as uay as he wished. A special traia would t.ai .,-

party we. the *'enry B Plant* reoobed Saniord. .

*erly on the af p iated day assool te and I, with ear w v .
-met ,. Plant'a party at the weart at Sadford. We boarded a rad;Sw

seod of t a parlr *ar, .shbe ear ad t he rain all .
te bli4e irs with w white gloves. In the visitiy we sa.
". )r i a oifo ,. hrat &Iw e s thio .itiab.o..t.
rt .ol* --A n:- i fo,.

*. 1. ~, ;. .

'--h. -. ": .- ...-..5 .

da4- o f r ea Pa e

-i **r b..ne i te .. .. .te r..n e :l ,, -
S. -,* ..
i**r. rip "3dd allt the y.t do ot ye l t els rlro tl u'

rai 'l*o ys ilt i as o*a-otos at that t. sth oms' iaver n*

etta" ~e md bre oeblpitd by fI repl me 'Mr. Pls t wasbiiblyon timrol e y

otb- ouatry throo h hiok wa passed. After ret-ornin to -Sa frd b ae al l .

a oofert at whios be asked.

t**I ya oan ws at Gay I do for you oa thiU raloied preojette

n t *'If y ou wil give us oo tootlons fifth year 8t. Joh at Rivenr

steamer dad obtain for un through rprasetation to- tokets and rates, I **

thold P t esatly obliCod.' I repid amed o t i our duietiof to eootiue tH

o n r o.'t e o -' ;,. r .t. .. T
ODo you think your stookolder moultsd ell an interest Iast a".i$

property? 'he ludk.*

-If you oan ee your way to purohaerain ay, thre-fifths intrt e 'res

in the railroad and extending it to Tampa ad eventually putting in the no e :

.- ,
Of steamers I havero entioed I au sre they WOU3d gell.

*As a result of this talk aa a subeaat aemfeawee ii Bto. f

Rawirad, -nadr oontraot to build the road fro U-i---- to fte' Tbo'.wo

wa pushed to Oompletion vwy rapidly. January .4 .88 the goth .ioiy : "i

oR Ia" oot m, .
SRailroad opeood to Tapa Goveaor Ioa and his' itiro 4ebiti

tir fa.11, waro present as guests of the oompay a"d saw the i, iirf

-the let sike the

N ot longafter th oocplotion of the railree MAmu

Atlantis Coast Line, Mr. Plant stablised the first roar

"raiodus teade~d fromTpa to PortTa T at'u
deep-.water a l th of Usulso to th head of ll"bUro Bay.
Mcdoo t h o R *'s .*-o 1L'1.v **11;D

s .re for a short w.: *. bo rd .dwalk. I pa .

small eity stireeft and feetogys ware. "An Moleat wooden bridgee
.orses 1 of a ing was p ted t ... ds. The s. tion, .o,. as

Temps Bay ot* ". "'. -It" w o; ta at least 300 .o M.ad was -obe pla, --
on the other side of th. -illborough River* Withot e ept people .
&"Iy l.are' that Plant was dr asy The mo- they heard abot is Opla ithe

w3ider they believed him to bare b ome 'ven If he did build 'I h
-.i Lt for'a *hort diLta--v o 8r o T =u -Lri *tha.M -

beleved really would haen nobody w uld patronize It nd rervi ts'- wol

never rema the wshoe seasoned At that tie'few i any besides Planto

ol .-vt o d so Tampa as aoty o 10.000 op laon e ithi i :
year -
strslee. tho riT at L~f~ftt Ktrt. It w o rif~ty t*a't Ta'Dsyoor- :

at d aid no other d t boa these de inTha seti. eW ia t*

so oIt on thon thet ens Bn PlHet ooono red hal plthrl to bold thw

orig inpal Baotole It to oontnan at loast a 00 f*oon tfad u to We piae am

, o. t- t: d o. th. .eroat ,. xoopt ealll g ,
'roe sitn Pof ealdat rwai aroed y atd the samshibea tieve had ate.

-., .. 's k a ostp nt w.- ... ,:".."- t p i a tows. .,w i a.n

out nod the oio and torou h thDe.e robI tf ho dids. bAlof whe iho.. :of
the bay feeral haldy aponrsA obu il the patr soal itme.. ta oold --/

USt V* P A *W".-
f w er tY b elork e baid O an to have tho beo ifn he di bid. uBeih frug.

*rbievte ra oult d happlen nobody wi a tho par d hii fmd Ito would

er remain the l. esom.. At that tifw i y:fayb Plt
'oouldvalle Tampa ao s h a l oirt ofcito aloity0 u ihit aLth 50k~r'. *

'*oond oo f haif oo te i -ollbogh building telf a sity ualivMwth worker' '

broug lto tori, in ld ordbhy t heraldioroa bdrohht tbea. er ha Tampaoa i
exeieo sio prseiy Th tou hie wit '*'* '*' ^1

S-eae o f-- tel Am-diately ar- if --ts "res t e

of t"y _m11 ton too-m a hbtmb. "h, afte-y that mas being
Save the fabulously rich n. plat ofeld mot taad that. Tho
1 wld nve be oompl tode ,
: .."

replied confidently, *Be knows what I waste Me will &t it rigkt.*
i.lo..mo .mu, o .:~h~ i o.~ ,ow modt: dere:.l et oooe the "

Bei, fort e thi erre had ben a plant Botel in Tami Oa th east

side of the river. It deseribd as hPlaving been a tlar a* .rblit

^-woodem bnimag of two stori*e The only soaro* of heating this struetare
1-m wood tove in tho oeter of th hall n te od floor pri .

tve as this now sands at that tiae it mar oonidwerd boulder lalryo
oe f his antaion l. Plaofort lthe sleoad flood llbeae at ripoptlar oti

:apie or toh yon ifotl of Tk~ mp ft ll as for olld gsiaps Al so

'. Beor-e tl tPlert ed b t a rmbln holt Hollt. i tha p a l ofth et
-tohe of thorivo It described pu h i b lar rleble l

SwoThe Tampa Bay torie was inteaded to to hati n the Jswt of u t

g rot Plant system of hotels at d rat t lroait t arose like a pale eof
.41 di. l fDarti in of the time that it walo being bailtp op lr. es.d

Pleat were in B-ope -ollooting oobtafl fratshljp for th hotel sad

rar lan flr tho poark fhat Was to ll rr oad its.
'. nt had alre dWn aris t a ra" btin was at nllei, then e aiof
theL reso m o ollevue Hotel -."

' xtrava Tmp Ba y fblous alth It attre to e ,a s tally pew7.

fr-.- uall setion .of this ontry. alroe at rse vrli f pa
l wr i e 'le i'. n. e f. **..f.nsi g f -o; the h tel".- nd

merib h ?I eenIa was as evenrit ina e history f Tapa l e

-Olts ;- saie
Orleam, Savammeb, Atlanta, lNaglani, r Frazde

the tbroNbthat eajoyed that eiren tl. 80pe-ial tralla wee ran to
.. ,.::: .. ... .' .. -

Ito brim sad s. PlMrts es-l ests. eary Ms rl W. 7l691 ae w?
.* .

;ota< for the Rest Coast of the *tate what Plat* was d60aS for the ofl"

s' *-tion. vas on- the e-pea--lly i tte-d*. The d4a *r tat w ..se'ved a
I- S- I -

that 0**8tot1 is saod to have surpassed for variety quA faoi syborlthis

lzwTry MrVaal s applied at a pablio fanotlon In this ooetry. A bad amait
I. '. ,.

of the mao toatw entioed trom the Boston Symphony for the season, played

dorihngthat day and the eveia n* After the foesti is the great orear -

diaing rooa there owas doing t the ballroom that-u oantl fed le i ht '

*It was too beatifal to deseribe*8 diolo d a Tampa lady b .

he known the TeP Bay Botal from the epteig to th a prent day- sIt wus

*roiad q.it ume a perfed t setting bli tropiol tri ehisd .orfy flb rs ay
ofr and s iiss P st od oun td the frto mp8 on for th rlse, plAye

thousand, pt ap d h ndedsf hf tboina. fter on ftlowe sti. tahe rtt A olaul -

dii *here um a high hLg asrroondin the otire. park itth g *ta -

hate oat the t*trapo leading to the hotel ei ery Soubiay, ad on. othir

speoal daye, these gates were left open and the aulip sa fre to et .

and roas aro nd Othe times the tigates werep kpt *lo sd, looked at at
I .* ... .1.' ... ,

tho ., Tris hn .B on the orth side of othe hotel ard.
t. a th ee l- U y. .* -., ad, .,hr -- r

4Mt by rioslhamse That wme snb. a oomfortable way for SO the

apbot the hd tl. Tee it was meoh too lar t-for person to lkar
,. ,. Z ,' -. :- . .-a -. -.._ f _-

to ** so manr beatiftal ldies In rlokshw w as osilfht of' it..,.
drohm ariu a lOthe tes tel. gts .e .ei the 'otodl .a t lS

S .- .
I ndr st ood. ,, -. ... ,_ -,+;.'' .-_

:ito ease ..Iketitol InoteI inoriothb.s sieo.h otead .st

-:e .--
/. ... ". h f + .eee. pearl. ,,

b:.4. .-.V P,

R,613A -.who beati h"5 a.i Ii-s* -

.Geantifl girli ever saw. Ber pe arls: ':her o : othe i wee
towas so pleased.b the hunt ing arnd Tanpa tht int hi a
:+'-' ~'- :.. . _. .t. .
:Havana as they had planned they reminded at the Tampa Bae.' o
A.. : -
S"No, the public was not admitted to the entertainments i

~ hotel. That is, not what is known as the general public. -'The -was -lb'

carefully censored list of young men and young ladies o whom engrae. .
S 4-
invitations were sent at the beginning of each season. Mi brothers and: '

were of this fortunate group. To go/the great all or other oial ent .
I, .o
tainments one had to have special invitations. The "engr a- eo'

at the beginning of the season was.for the Saturday e.vnint b

Sunday evening concerts .and other. infbmal affairs.

During the Spanish American War Gen-" Generait '

wheeler, Colonel Tedy -Boosevelt a other eleb s

.Richard Hardi Davis and 'dederic .R ingon

although I can t claim tobhave met all of them. ?-: ha w' a" yesd.eri~

of the old hot l, perhaps. Everybody was so c" Iar out i

spoke and talked with any and everybody-. The di..ified : o"it.

first few years ceased to hold .way" .

". M The first Oaprilla B all wa 'he in

r a. uar altrooI :The young peopl id h eo', in-

h'tere lAje daeo with riAboni' and ee ,r.nhi.

.. -. .. .*.* _dr -

- .

*- .. -- .* *-., 1 f. -S -,, ; --.. ,-
In *pite of his other interests o.. Pntcontmed.O-- -o -b'

7: 'i~~i 4A

roads in S'outh Floida- He had grduly extended the o-s J ackson .. .
Tmp a Dring K thiy tie Ril ~ad to.Pla activitih e were not -Tconfnhere it o ct
building and exploiting of his great hotel. At.the yars-exp7ositi"onLhe 6

.personallyrepesented the Soh th Forida Railroad. The ebo hibit So Florlda-

RTairoadds-line from Platka to Brooksville Still o ter the Sanford cnd
l B S l .. -
,.*; ",: .- '- ., .-

St productersrhich he asrobled In 1884 he eenddispayed thee haSouth F aorida never

from Pemberton Ferrby any made bythe State at keand international expoition -c :
nect wIn pite o his other interen at r. Plant ycontiied to build ral
roads in South Florida. He had gradually extended the oldl Jacl sonvile,

epa hio er and east Railroad tho Patka, then to Saniord There t connected

th theold he fodt tw Railrhe a e to thehat after he bosgt the.:outh Forida

the Ralroads-one from Plata to Brooksv le ta Still later theP anford eand -
St. Petersburg Bailroad. In 1884 he extended the South Florida Balirad

the un from be New York toia Dade ity and kendto Port Tmp. Brto'h'. Thisi.oi-.. C ..

through service.from New York& The arrival of te. i .,.
.nected with the old Florida Southern at Panberton Ferjry,' now-nwn '1Bas Trlby^.^
---- -.4..."
The York was another occas 1886 anw a great rejichange in all lroad
the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River. They'wer.lenc ged frr6m
the old five fodt two inches gauge to the new standard gauge of ^f our-!fee
and eight and one-half inches. The South Florida Balarad cheiged from ^ -

the three-foot narrow gauge to the new standard gauge. RPiulaiaparq 'wertfP-

then ron from New York to Tanpa and to Port Tampa. 'Thi was IfthBfirst:^!'
through service fromN'ew York. The arrival of the first train.i Tiireot

Hew York was another occasion of great rejo cing Inthe Ctty~of^ -
I t w a year later that -r. Plant built:tht.~ir&6 aLuge.-

.to Port Tanpa where. he had established wh rves with bet ir

- 'e6 'te eship at- once- .'* :-. .

.. e j W"c

~ T1~~~3f~''obf''?~`ti' geerT~~;~-LT S~~~

.i ...., ,.

wa bkn by his: ows athe mineral mtuntes

fala t hiaat. were 'ne andg the properties of. the Pant InveTmento h a

bave slipped away, little .by little, -Control of .the Plat :ailroads
steameship lines has-passed into other hands, controlled by minds keener f

Strangers have cols into the State, bringing new energy and m w

of this great qity none has done more than "Plant the builder, Plant the'
h S ".- s: ,. *.. -
dreamer, Plant the -man who knew how to turn vision into abidine-f ae :'- .m.

-- ...
o. *, ,-
j -. :,;. ,, 4

.- ,_.
-:,- ,:: .-, ,', .. -.. ,; :' -. ." .'? .- ';
t- .-h .. --..,, r =. : ,t:
-: -.. ...,,. .,. ,-,:. .- ,- -" % .: .: r-' '-.. ". ".' -- ... :--"

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