Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

NOTABLE PERSONS OF BROWARD COUNTY FLORIDA



 A-C   D-E   F-G   H-L   M-P   Q-S   T-V   W-Z

Louis B. and Inez Lyons Fisher (b. 1916 Pompano)
Became Pompano's youngest mayor in the 1930s. Louis was the son of Fred T. and Daisy M. (Bryan) Fisher. Inez was the daughter of Clinton L. and Mittie Ophelia (Saxon) Lyons. Four children (3 natural, 1 adopted). (See Imprints 12.3-1993, First Families of Broward.)

Henry Morrison Flagler (January 2, 1830 Hopewell, NY - May 20, 1913 West Palm Beach, FL)
Buried in St. Augustine with his first wife and daughters.
Railroad Tycoon, Merchant, Hotel Builder & Entrepreneur. Flagler was the son of Reverend Isaac and Elizabeth Caldwell Harkness Flagler. He grew up in New York, until at the age of 14, he moved to Bellevue, OH where he worked in a grain store.
On Nov. 9, 1852, he married Mary Harkness whose weak health brought them on a visit to Jacksonville, Florida. The Flaglers had three children, Jennie Louise, Carrie and Harry Harkness Flagler. Unfortunately, Mary passed away May 18, 1881, and in 1883, he married Ida Alice Shourds. They traveled to St. Augustine where Flagler saw the potential for development in Florida. He built the Ponce de Leon Hotel and purchased his first railroad, the Jacksonville, St. Augustine & Halifax Railroad, which later became the Florida East Coast Railroad.. Ida was later institutionalized for mental illness and they divorced. He married his third wife Mary Lily Kenan August 24, 1901, and they moved into her wedding present, Whitehall, a West Palm Beach 55-room estate located on a mere 60,000 acres. At the age of 84, Flagler fell down the stairs and died of his injuries.
It would be impossible to summarize Flagler's life in a small paragraph, but his importance to Broward County is indisputable, for the Florida East Coast Railroad is what started the growth of Fort Lauderdale in 1896. For more information on Flagler, see the Flagler Museum of Palm Beach, Florida.

Merle L. Fogg (May 26, 1898 Enfield, ME - May 1, 1928)
Died from an airplane crash into the Huffman Orange Grove at West Palm, FL. Buried Mt. Hope Cemetery, Bangor Maine.
Aviator & visionary. Namesake of Fogg Field and Merle Fogg Park at East Las Olas & Idlewyld Rd. Credited with being an early aviator in Maine and in South Florida. Merle Fogg was the son of Leslie & Alberta Fogg who studied engineering at the University of Maine after serving in WW I. In 1922, he took flying lessons in Okeechobee, FL followed by a career in barnstorming biplanes, a dangerous occupation which consisted of performing tricks with planes. Fogg came to Fort Lauderdale around 1925 where he flew Tom Bryan's seaplane and operated the first flying service called the Merle Fogg Flying Service. He is noted with several "firsts". He became the first aviator to fly an airplane from Maine to Florida, and was also the first to land a plane on Andros Island and Nassau. In 1928. His stunts were legendary and ranged from assisting bird & deer hunters to cutting the engine & talking to bystanders. A year after his death from an airplane crash while training students, Merle L. Fogg Airport was dedicated. Fogg Field was acquired by the federal government during WW II and became the Naval Air Station of Fort Lauderdale. It was later acquired by Broward County and is now known as the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

P.J. Franklin
Listed in the R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a notary in Hallandale, Florida.

Charles E. Fritz
Listed in the R . L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as the president of the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale.

Theresa Fritz
Listed in The R . L. Polk & Co., Florida Gazetteer of 1925, along with Emma Rablin, as operating the South Side Bake Shop.

Andrew Christian "A.C." Frost (1846 Denmark - 1924)
Buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Dania
Pioneer to Dania. One of a small group of Danes who arrived in South Florida from Oconoto Wisconsin. The name Dania (incorporated 1904) was created to differentiate itself from a town of a similar name in Dade County, and also to pay tribute to their homeland. AC Frost built the first home, the first general store (1922) and the first two schools (1st in 1905) in Dania (now known as Dania Beach). He also became the first postmaster of Modello, WC Valentine's development. AC Frost's first wife was Marian Gregerson who died after about 7 years of marriage, leaving 4 small children. His second wife was named Charlotte by whom he had a daughter also named Charlotte. She died of a heart attack and his third wife was named Catherine by whom he had 5 more children. Before arriving in Florida, Frost founded a general store, several post offices and worked in a lumber business in Wisconsin. The impetus for relocating to Florida was meeting James E. Ingraham, a vice president with the Florida East Coast Railroad who encouraged colonization of South Florida, as a way to increase the railroad business.

Col. James Gadsden (1788 Charleston, SC - Dec. 25, 18580
In 1821, Spanish controlled Florida became part of the United States, and in 1825, Col. Gadsden created the first survey of what is today known as Broward County. While surveying the area, he reported that there were two families living along the New River, the David Williams and the William Cooley families. In 1818, Gadsden was dircted by General Andrew Jackson to rebuild a fort at Prospect Bluff along the Apalachicola River. It became known as Fort Gadsden and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Franklin Co., Fl along the Apalachicola River).

Easter Lily Gates (b. c. April 1889 Iowa (reportedly Easter Sunday) - 1985)
Known as the "Woman of Iron". Became Broward County's Supervisor of Elections, Registrar of Voters and the first female President of the State Supervisors of Elections. Moved to in Fort Lauderdale in 1918 with her husband. When the hurricane of 1926 hit, she lost everything, including her husband who was ill and had to be carried upstairs to escape the flooding. He died a few weeks later, and in order to support her children, she took a job as a school bus driver, becoming the first female bus driver in Broward County. As Supervisor of Elections, she took the initiative to register the first Black and Seminole Indian voters.

Kossie Adolphus Goodbread (Nov. 22, 1870 Hamilton Co., FL - July 9, 1957) & Rosaline C. "Rossie" (Johns) Goodbread (1868-1940)
Both buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
Police Officer, Tax Collector, Marshall & worked in road construction. Dade Co. Deputy who policed from Hallandale to Colohatchee (now Wilton Manors.) Fort Lauderdale's first Marshall, elected Mar. 27, 1911. Appointed in 1911 as 1st Marshall of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department & duties included tax assessing & collecting. Responsible for overseeing widening of Dixie Hwy from (from 7 to 12 feet) which was the only road to Miami. Work performed mostly by State convicts who hauled rock in wagons drawn by mules. As the work progressed, they opened rock pits where they camped (one became the Dania Canal). Goodbread was the son of Jacob Souder Goodbread and his wife Elizabeth Ann Brooks. Arrived in Ft. Lauderdale in Oct. 1908. (See Imprints 5.1-1986, First Families of Broward.)

Robert Hayes or Hayese Gore (May 24, 1886 Knottsville, KY - Dec. 26, 1972)
Politician & newspaper editor. Governor of Puerto Rico 1933-34. Alternate Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1944. Buried Lauderdale Memorial Park Cemetery.

William Alfred "Alf" Griffin (July 26, 1889 Livingstone, KY - Oct. 10, 1937) and Anna Delores (Zanetti) Griffin (Nov. 27, 1898 Panama - Oct. 9, 1937)
Both died of a car accident and were originally interred at the Ft. Lauderdale Cem. and later re-interred at Evergreen Cem.
First couple to be married in Davie. Boat operator. William Alfred Griffin was the son of William and Sallie Frances (Owens) Griffin who settled in Davie around 1909. Anna Delores was the daughter of Joseph and Christine Zanetti. Alf and his brother T. M. Griffin operated the Griffin Boat Line from Davie to Ft. Lauderdale, at one time the only means of transportation between the two cities. They took produce to Ft. Lauderdale and returned with the U.S. Mail, groceries, ice, feed and other supplies. In 1930, William A. Griffin was listed on the Davie census as a carpenter. 8 children.
Source: First Families of Broward Bio from Imprints Vol. 3, No. 4, 1984.

William D. Griffin (Aug. 23, 1857 MO - Jan. 4, 1930) and Sallie Frances (Owens) Griffin(Dec. 5, 1930)
Both interred at Evergreen Cem., Ft. Lauderdale.
Farmers who settled in Davie around 1909. The family originally lived in Missouri and moved to Kentucky by covered wagon. In Florida, they lived along the South New River Canal. In 1920, William was recorded on the Davie census as a school bus driver and he and wife "Francis" had been married 20 years. 6 Children: T.M. b. MO, Minnie, Edward, John Wesley, William Alfred and Pollyanna (last 5 born in Kentucky).
Source: Census records and First Families of Broward Bio from Imprints Vol. 3, No. 4, 1984.

David Lewelyn Wark "D. W." Griffith(January 22, 1875 Oldham Co., KY - 21 July 1948 Hollywood, CA)
Buried in his home town at Mouth Tabor Methodist Church Graveyard, Crestwood, Oldham Co., KY.
First American silent movie director and Special Oscar winner of 1935. Considered to be the Father of the Motion Picture since the film, In Old California (1910), was the first motion picture to be filmed in Hollywood, CA. DW Griffith was the son of Mary Oglesby and Jacob "Roaring Jake" Griffith, a Confederate Army Colonel who served in the Civil War. His first wife was Linda Arvidson who he married on May 14, 1906 in Boston, MA. Immediately after their divorce in 1936, he married Evelyn Baldwin in Louisville who was 35 years younger than him. There were no children by either marriage.
After working as a playwright and stage actor, Griffith went to work for the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company where he oversaw the production of over 450 films. He also worked for Reliance-Majestic's studios, Paramount's Artcraft and First National. In 1919, he co-founded United Artists with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. His first blockbuster was the epic, The Birth of a Nation (released Mar. 3, 1915) which was shot in Florida, New York and Chicago entirely without a script. However, it is considered controversial due to its raciest portrayal of the Klu Klux Klan. Because of this, The Directors Guild of America's National Board renamed its prestigious D.W. Griffith award in 1999. DW Griffith shot many films in South Florida and pioneered techniques for fade-in, fade-out, close-up, parallel editing, flashback, backlighting, authentic sets and location shooting. His last film was the unsuccessful The Struggle in 1931. Many of his films were made entirely or partially in Fort Lauderdale including: The Love Flower (1920), The Idol Dancer (1920) and Fires of Love (filmed 1921 & released Mar. 1922). His picture can be found on a postage stamp. He worked with many of the great starlets of his time including Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish