NOTABLE PERSONS OF BROWARD COUNTY FLORIDA



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

Tequesta Indians
Considered the earliest known inhabitants of South Florida. When the Europeans arrived in the 1500s, the Tequesta numbered around 800. Many of their villages centered around the Miami River, but their settlements ranged from Miami to what is now West Palm Beach. The tribe survived as hunters and gatherers. This peaceful tribe traded with the Europeans, but by the mid 1800s, they were nearly extinct, due primarily to enslavement, disease and war. In 1998, an archeological site called the Miami Circle was discovered in Miami at 401 Brickell Avenue. It contains patterns of 24 main basin holes and numerous smaller ones, totaling about 38 feet in diameter overall. It is not known what the Tequesta used the circle for, but it's theorized to have been a celestial calendar, council house or observatory.

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.

Charles H Thompson
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a poultry breeder.

Captain Peter Throckmorton (1928-1990)
Author, journalist and known as The Father of Marine Archeology who mapped and catalogued shipwrecks all over the world and in South Florida. In 1958, he adopted Jacques Cousteau's SCUBA apparatus as a tool to accurately catalog and map underwater wrecks. The following is a list of the books he authored.

  • Spiro of the Sponge Fleet, 1964
  • Diving for Treasure, 1977
  • The Sea Remembers: Shipwrecks and Archaeology, 1978
  • The Sea Remembers: Shipwrecks and Archaeology, 1987
  • The Lost Ships
  • Shipwrecks and Archaeology: The Unharvested Sea

J.W. "Jack" Tidball
Mayor of Fort Lauderdale. He declared martial law after the devastating hurricane of 1926.

M. J. Tilton
Early barber in Fort Lauderdale. Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925.

Annie Jumper Tommie (Tommy) (1856 Horsehead Hammock, North Miami, FL - 1946)
Seminole Medicine Woman who achieved a position of authority within the tribe. Daughter of Mammy Tommie & Johnny Jumper. Lived at Horsehead Hammock until 1901 when the family moved to the New River area of Fort Lauderdale. The family was friendly with the Stranahans who owned the trading post. Annie Tommy, age 64, was listed on the 1920 Broward County Census. Her son Tony Tommy was head of household. In 1926, the Tommy/ Tommie family was the first to move to the Seminole Reservation established by the US Government.

Charlie "Shirtail Charlie" Tommie (c.1855 - c. 1925)
Buried at his family's former camp near Broward Blvd., East of I-95.
1920s Fort Lauderdale/Miami Seminole panhandler who was rumored to have murdered his wife due to a legend that his Seminole tribe sentenced him to wear a woman's dress. Shirttail Charlie merely chose to dress in traditional oversized Indian shirts, at a time when most Seminole men were adopting pants as their clothing of choice. There is a popular restaurant along the New River that bears his nickname.

Tony B. M. Tommy (or Tommie) (1889 Florida - 1931 Miami, FL)
Tony Tommy was the first Seminole Indian to attend public school. He was listed as head of household on the 1920 Broward County Census. He was head of household and living with his mother Annie, siblings Annie May, Frank, Brownie, Sam, Katie and Little Doctor. Cousin Eula Tommy was also living with the family. Tony Tommy is listed in the Florida Death as dying in Miami in 1931.

Minerva Touchman
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a dressmaker.

Aden Waterman "A.W." Turner (1865-1940)
Buried Evergreen Cemetery, Fort Lauderdale.
The first sheriff of Broward County (1915-1922 and again 1929-1933). [Research from Broward Co. Historical Commission correcting data listed on Sheriff.org website.] Became a founding council member of Pompano where he resided when Pompano was incorporated in 1908. 1920 Census for Fort Lauderdale, FL County lists Sheriff Aden W. Turner 54Y, along with wife Mary C. 50Y and children David, Mary A., Grace A., Charles J. and Ralph L.

W. C. Valentine 1841 Louisiana.
Civil Engineer & surveyor. Became Fort Lauderdale's 1st postmaster in 1891. In 1898-1899 he planned a development called Modello and recruited Danish families to settle there near Dania. Valentine was also involved in other Florida communities, such as Miami where he platted the fork of the Miami River & part of the Brickell property, as well as Sisco (Putnam Co.) and Interlachen (North Central, FL) which he surveyed in 1881. Listed on the 1900 Census for Lemon City, Dade Co., FL as a trucker and engineer, and living next to Philemon and Reed Bryan on one side and D. Irvin on the other.

O. S. Vaniman
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a fruit grower.

Samuel Matthew Vaulclain (1856 PA -1940) & Anne (Kearney) Vauclain (1854-1923)
He and wife Anne are buried at the Church of the Redeemer, along with other family members in Lower Merion Twp., Montgomery Co., PA.
Founder of Floranada City (Oakland Park). 1920 Delegate to the Pennsylvania National Convention. Industrialist with a rags to riches story and numerous books written about him and his career withBaldwin Locomotive Works (railroad). This company is estimated to have built 60,000 locomotives. Census records show.
1880 Altoona, Blair, PA - Samuel 24Y old machinist living with wife Annie and son Samuel. Several doors away are Alexander 55 with wife Maria and their children Catherine, Rettie, Lizzie, Ralph and Estelle.
1910 Radnor, Delaware, PA - Superintendent of Locomotive Works living with wife Annie and children Jacques L., Annie, Charles P., Constance M. and three servants. Next door are Samuel and Gilda Vauclain with children Amelia and Patricia.
1930 Bryn Mawr, Delaware, PA - Samuel age 75 Chairman of locomotive works living with daughter Anne 41 and 3 servants on Glenbrooke Ave. Anne is prob. the Anne Vauclain in the SSDI 22 Sep 1886 - June 1977 with last known residence Bryn Mawr, PA.

Charles Edward Viele (Oct. 17, 1896 Seattle, WA - June 1987) and Margaret (Mains) Viele (Oct. 14, 1905 - Jul 27, 2002)
Owner of Viele Groves which was located at 6990 Griffin Rd. Charles was the son of Helen and Harry Viele, early settlers to Davie, FL. 4 children. (See First Families of Broward, Imprints 3.4, p. 93.)

Harry Marshall (c 29 Jul 1858 Monroe Co., MI - Feb. 19, 1946 in Davie, FL) and Helen (Maxon) Viele (b. c. 1868 Kewanee, Henry Co., IL - Aug. 18, 1950)
Both buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
Early settlers to Davie, FL in 1912. Harry was a mining engineer who worked in the Railroad business in Macon, GA. Became active in the growth of Davie, FL. Harry was the son of William Hobby Viele 1816 - 1891 and Caroline W. Marshall 1823 - . William was the superintendent of the CB&Q Railroad which ran between Ottumwa, Iowa and Chicago. The Maxon family was also involved in the RR business in Macon, GA which is where Harry and Helen met. According to the Florida Death Index, Harry Marshal Viele died in 1946 in Broward Co., FL, (no exact date specified). (See First Families of Broward, Imprints 3.4, p. 93.)

  • 1870 Census for Kewanee, Henry Co., IL lists John B. Maxon a domestic servant age 36, b. in OH 1500 of property, Maria 34 keeping house b. NY, Chas E. 11 b. IL, Catherine 10 IL, Wm. T. 8 IL, Helen 6 b. IL along with an Adam Hackney 72 b. NY. John B., Maria, Chas., and Catherine could could not read or write.
  • 1870 Census in Monroe, Monroe, MI: William 53Y & a carpenter born in NY and Caroline 47 from NH. Also with the family were Melissa 28 dressmaker, Jessie 23 carpenter, Delia 19, Harry 12, John 8 and Mabel 6, all born in MI.
  • 1880 Census for Dist. 75, Aurura, Kane, IL lists John Maxon 45 as a RR Roadmaster b. OH, Maria wife 45 keeping house b. NY and children (all born in IL) Charles 21, Katie 19, Willie 18 and Helen 16.
  • 1910 Census for Chicago, Cook Co., IL: Harry M. 50 b. IL & a contractor, Helen E. 42 IL and Charles E. 13 born in Washington. Harry and Charles had been married 16 years with 1 child.
  • 1930 Davie, Broward Co., FL: Harry M. 71, Helen 62 IL, Charles E. 33 WA, Margaret J. daughter-in-law 22 IN and Dwight A. 5/12 grandson b. IN. Next door was the Charles A. and Katherine Walsh family. Harry had no occupation, but Charles was a contractor - groves.

Charles Vignoles (1793 England - 1875)
Mapmaker. Surveyor and Civil Engineer for the City of St. Augustine. Published the first map of Florida based on field surveys in Philadelphia in 1823. He conducted these by boat and horseback, traveling from the north to the southern tip of Florida. The map was known as Map of Florida, Compiled and Drawn from various Actual Surveys and Observations. The map didn't become profitable until reproduced under the engraver Henry S. Tanner's name in a collection of New American Maps. Vignoles also surveyed other locations such as Charleston, SC (1820) and worked internationally. He is particularly known for his work in Liverpool England, and for building the Kiev Bridge in Russia (1847-1853) and the Tudela & Bilbao Railway (1857-1864) in Spain. Vignoles is also known fordescribing the South Florida wetlands as the Ever-glades” when he wrote, Observations Upon the Florida.