NOTABLE PERSONS OF BROWARD COUNTY FLORIDA
Emma Rablin Baker
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925, along with Mrs. Theresa Fritsch, as running the South Side Bake Shop.
W. H. Rains
Mayor. Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as Mayor of Pompano.
Katherine Rawls (1918-1982)
Known as the world's greatest swimmer, Katherine Rawls was the daughter of Bill and Sadie Rawls whose entire family became swimmers. This petite woman moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1933 and set records at the Casino Pool, becoming the first woman to win 4 national championships at a single meet (1933). She was a 1932 and 1936 Olympic Athlete and winner of 33 national diving and swimming titles. In 1937, she was named The Number One Female Athlete of the Year. She also became the first person to be inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965. She later became a pilot and was one of the originating 25 members of the Women's Air Service Pilots (WASPS) that flew planes in WWII for the Air Transport Command. Mayor Virginia Young made January 28, 1973 "Katherine Rawls" Day in the City of Fort Lauderdale.
- 1932 Springboard Diving Silver Medal
- 1936 Springboard Diving Silver Medal, Bronze 4x100 freestyle relay, 7th 100m freestyle
Louise G Richardson
Listed as the Librarian for the Woman's Club Library in the R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925.
Myrtle Darsey Ritter (Jan 17, 1910 - May 6, 2003
Buried Pompano Beach Cemetery.
Valedictorian of the first graduating class of Pompano (1928). See bio of Marshall Darsey, her father.
Anna Duboise Roby (b. NY - d. Sep. 1922 Southside Hospital, Miami, FL)
Widow who purchased the Hendrickson property in Rio Vista around 1921. Died of cancer & survived by a son & daughter from New York. (Imprints 22.1-2003; obituary reprinted from Fort Lauderdale Herald Sep. 15, 1922.)
Responsible for Fort Lauderdale's nickname, The Venice of America and the canal system along the waterways. In the 1920s, Charles Rodes introduced the concept of finger islanding, which was a process of dredging marshes to create a series of landfills.
Congressman Dwight Laing Rogers (Aug. 17, 1886 Reidsville, GA - Dec. 1, 1954 Fort Lauderdale)
Politician (Democrat). Member Florida State Legislature. US Congressman representing 6th district 1945 until death. His son, Paul Grant Rogers was also a politician from West Palm Beach. Buried Lauderdale Memorial Park Cemetery.
Preston Hill & Roper (Apr. 4, 1856 GA or C - Nov. 26, 1936)
Buried at Woodlawn Cem. with 2nd wife Nancy.
Truck farmer of Modello and later Dania. "Farm" Hotel proprietor. One of Dania's first pioneers, arriving first in 1894 from Oakland, Orange Co., FL. Settled permanently 1901-2. Married 1st Rebecca Hennis who . c. 1891 Ocoee, FL from a tornado or hurricane. Married 2nd Nancy Tyler (Sep 13, 1862 - Jan 31, 1941) in 1894. After Dania's 1st school was replaced, PH Roper purchased or leased the original property on Federal Hwy, converting it into the Roper Hotel which he and Nancy ran. 4 Children by Rebecca Hennis.
(See First Families of Broward Bio, Imprints 14.2-1995.)
Charles Rubison (Apr. 26 1875 prob. OK - Apr. 20, 1868)
Buried at Lauderdale Memorial Park.
Rose E (Achmyor) Rubison (1881 - 1927)
Married Nov 28, 1899 in Adams Co., IL. Buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
Martha (Middlebrook) Rubison (c. 1906 GA) daughter of Ed and Nancy Middlebrook.
Early settler and truck farmer of Davie, FL, before 1914 when he secured a contract to build an addition on the Davie Schoolhouse. 2 children by wife Rosie. (See First Families of Broward, Imprints 3.4, p. 94)
Clarence (Apr. 16, 1904 - Mar. 22, 1981)
& Julia (Shaw) Rubison
Owner of Rubison's Hardware / machine shop in Davie. Son of Charles and Rosie (________) Rubison. One daughter. (See First Families of Broward, Imprints 3.4, p. 94)
Melvern Rubison (Sep 18, 1905 - Jan. 1974)
Son of Charles and Rosie (________). Worked in his brother Clarence's machine shop. According to the Social Security Death Index, he received his SSN in Mississippi before 1951 and his last known residence was Fort Lauderdale, FL. (See First Families of Broward, Imprints 3.4, p. 94)
Albert Neal Sample (April 16, 1866 Mecklenburg Co., NC - Apr. 4, 1941)
& Margaret James "Maggie" (Henderson) Sample (Jan 14, 1866 - Feb 24, 1947)
Pioneer, Architect, Truck farmer and Broward County Commissioner. Son of David Irwin & Rebecca Eloise "Ellie" (McCoy) Sample. Albert's brother, John M. Sample, arrived in South Florida around 1910 and Albert followed in 1911. In 1916, Albert proceeded to build a 17-room Georgia home of Dade County Pine, now known as the Old Sample Estate and Pine Haven or the Sample-McDougald Home. From here he oversaw his farming operation which ranged from what is now known as Lighthouse Point to Powerline Road. In 1940, the property passed to Albert and Maggie Sample's daughter, Lois S. Barksdale who was from Greenville, SC. In 1943, she sold the property to William D. & Sarah Sellers McDougald. Namesake of Sample Road. The Sample-McDougald House has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Married on Feb 5, 1890. (See Imprints 11.4-1992, First Families of Broward.)
John McCoy Sample (Apr. 3, 1876 - Apr. 3, 1940) & Mary (Harris) Sample (Apr 15, 1885 - )
Pioneer. John M. Sample was a farmer and the first person to settle in Pompano Beach in 1910, having purchased property from the Florida East Coast Railroad. Son of David Irwin & Rebecca Eloise "Ellie" (McCoy) Sample. Brother to Albert Neal Sample. Married to Mary Harris on Nov. 25, 1908.
Ben Y Saxon
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as operating or working at a general store in Pompano.
Franklin Sheene and Franklin Sheene, Jr.
Franklin Sheene was a civil engineer who along with George O. Butler platted land for the Fl. Coast Line Canal and Transportation, Co. Both came from Lantana / Hypoluxo, FL and settled in Pompano by the late 1890s. FL. Franklin Sheene, Jr., was reportedly the first white child born in Pompano and Sheene's plat of the area recorded the name "Pompano" after the fish that was abundant in the Atlantic. (See Imprints 17.4 - 1998, p. 105 for First Family of Broward Sketch.)
John D. Sherwin
Newspaper Publisher. Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as the President, General Manager and Editor of the Herald Co., Publishers of The Fort Lauderdale Herald at 115 Wall St.
Fred B. Shippey.
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a judge at the courthouse.
J. A. B. Shippey
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a lawyer
Luther George Simjian, (Jan. 28, 1905 Turkey - October 23, 1997 Ft. Lauderdale)
President and Chairman of Reflectone. Inventor of the Bankmatic automatic teller machine (early ATM), color x-ray machine, self-focusing camera, flight-speed indicator for airplanes, teleprompter & postage metering machine. Last patent was for a process to improve the resonance of wood used for musical instruments.
Marie R. Simonson
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a chiropractor.
James Franklin Sistrunk, MD (1891 Midway, FL - 1966)
Physician/obstetrician. Trained at Meharry College, Nashville, TN. Only black physician in Fort Lauderdale until 1937. Co-founded Provident Hospital with Dr. Von Mizell and Leona Collins in 1938. Sistrunk is attributed with delivering over 5,000 babies. He accomplished this even though he was hindered by the lack of surgical facilities available for blacks. Namesake of the Sistrunk Corridor which is an area of about 15 blocks along Sistrunk Blvd. and considered to be the historic core of African American culture in Fort Lauderdale.
Francis S. Skiff
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a physician.
Edward R. Smith
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a plumber.
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a confectioner
Lillie Mae Smith (May 13, 1892 - Aug 16, 1990 Broward Co.)
Buried Joes Creek Cem., Ludowici, GA
Broward County's first elected female official. Ms. Smith moved from Ludowici GA to S. Florida in 1921 and was employed by the Broward County Tax Collector's Office 1921-1929. In 1925 she was elected tax collector, a post she held until 1928. Smith was known for joking about the 3 B's, i.e. the real estate boom, the blow (hurricanes) and the bust (the Depression). In her retirement, she and her brother John H. Smith operated the Sinclair Gasoline Service Station at Las Olas and Federal Hwy. Throughout her life, she was honored for her dedication to the community. The Our Town Pioneer Club of Fort Lauderdale presented her with a certificate in 1954, and the Broward County Historical Society featured an article about her in 1986. She was also an active member of the First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale. Although she never married, she was one of eight siblings and treated her numerous nieces and nephews as her own.
Thomas W. (1888 prob. SC -1951)
& Clara E. (Barber) Smith (1893-1969)
Both buried South Lawn Cem., Pompano.
Thomas Smith was the son of Walter Smith and Nancy Rebecca (_______) Smith. He worked as a mechanic and woodworking. Listed with 5 children on the 1920 census for Pompano, Broward Co., Florida. (Biographical sketch Imprints 18.2 - 1999.)
Walter Pompano (Sep.12, 1842 - Jan. 5, 1935) and Nancy Rebecca
(________) Smith (b. SC - d. 1936 Pompano)
Both buried South Lawn Cem., Pompano. 7 children, 2 died young.
Sea Captain. Walter Smith may have been born in ME or Newburg, NC and also lived in SC and GA. The family was listed on the 1910 Palm Beach and 1920 Broward Co., Census. Walter Smith worked as a sea captain and was a Southern sympathizer who listed at 19 and served in the Confederate Army, Co. I, 3rd NC Regt. In July 1905, Walter Smith was involved in a Key West a plume-slaughtering (bird) incident by two teen-age boys who were seen on his schooner. When he surrendered, residents of Flamingo burned his home in retaliation. He was acquitted for lack of witnesses and after the incident, the family settled in the small farming community of Pompano. His obituary stated that he was one of the last Civil War residents residing in Pompano. (See biographical sketch from Imprints 18.2 - 1999, pp. 40-41.)
Russell G. Snow
Mayor and businessman. Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as the Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Seedsman, Farmer's Supplies, Poultry Supplies, Insecticides, Spraying Outfits, Fertilizers, etc. Address on the New River.
Bevill T. Solomon
Listed in the R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a notary in Pompano.
Mrs. J. C. Spangler (c. 1857 - Sept. 8, 1922, Fort Lauderdale at 65Y)
He's buried Walnut, IA
Described as a popular and beloved woman with a brilliant intellect and lovable disposition in her obituary (Fort Lauderdale Herald, Sep. 8, 1922 reprinted Imprints 22.1-2003, p. 26). Survived by her husband, J.C. Spangler, an ex-Union soldier and her daughter, Mrs. C. J. Hector of Fort Lauderdale.
Dr. J. A. Stanford
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as Vice President of the Pioneer Department Store, Inc.
Frank Stirling (1878 - 1949)
Owner of Stirling and Sons Nursery in Davie and an early grower of citrus and melaleuca trees. Elected the first Mayor of Davie in 1925. Worked with the US Dept. of Agriculture and the Florida State Plant Board to wipe out citrus canker. Partnered with CF Hammerstein and Floyd Wray to create Flamingo Groves and later assisted Floyd Wray in developing the botanical garden at Flamingo Gardens. Represented Broward County in the State Legislature.
Frank Stranahan (Aug. 21, 1864 Vienna, OH - June 23, 1929)
Buried in historic Evergreen Cemetery next to wife Ivy Julia Cromartie Stranahan..
New River ferry operator, trading post operator and banker who arrived in the area in 1893.Considered to be the father of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Assumed management of the overland mail route from Lantana to Coconut Grove, formed the 1st post office & financed the construction of the first road from the New River to Miami. Was president of Fort Lauderdale State Bank. Considered the founder & first permanent white settler of Fort Lauderdale. See also Cromartie (Ivy Julia), his wife & the first school teacher.
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a Justice of Pompano.
William H Swann
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925, along with William P. Read, as operating the W H Swann & Co. Department Store.
La Mar Thistlethwaite
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as the Secretary-Treasurer and General Manager of The Pioneer Department Store located at 137-139 Brickell Ave.
David Rex "Dave" Thomas (July 2, 1932 Atlantic City, NJ - January 8, 2002 Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Restaurateur, TV spokesman, philanthropist, founder and Chairman of the hamburger chain, Wendy's International. Also co-founded Arthur Treacher's prior to Wendy's, along with several charities including the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. He and wife Lorraine were the 1933 King & Queen of Coconut Creek High School. Brilliant entrepreneur who was the adopted child of Rex and Auleva Thomas.
J. W. Tidhall
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as the President of the Chamber of Commerce at City Hall.
M. J. Tilton
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a barber.
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a dressmaker.
Rev. R. D. Tracy
Episcopal Priest listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925.