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NOTABLE PERSONS OF BROWARD COUNTY FLORIDA



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

Robert L. Waldron (c. 1871 FL - )
Listed in the 1920 Broward Co., FL Census as postmaster. R. L. Waldron was also listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as postmaster of Pompano, Florida.

Charles A. Walsh (c. 1859 Bentonsport, IA - Dec. 1932 Davie, FL) and Catherine (________) Walsh )c. 1862 Kewanee, IL - Oct. 1, 1932) Catherine died auto accident in Davie. Both buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
Early pioneers to Davie and influential in the citrus industry. Charles A. Walsh was the developer of the Everglades orange and also the president of Wacico Citrus Groves Corp. He also served as treasurer of the Nat'l Democratic Committee under Tom Taggers and became a Republican in the first Hoover campaign. Founded the BPOE lodge 237 of Ottumwa, IA and he and his wife Catherine helped organize the Davie M.E. Church. Catherine helped organize and became the first president of the Broward County Federation of Woman's Clubs. She was also the first president of the county welfare board, organizer/board member of Haven of Rest and active in the Hollywood Woman's Community Club and the Hollywood Garden Club.

John William (Nov 6, 1885 Bradford, FL - July 5, 1936)
John drowned when car went into a canal near Florida City & Onie Ritch Walton (Jan. 6, 1888 Bradford, Fl - Oct 9, 1978)
John and Onie are buried in Pompano City Cemetery.
Agent for the Florida East Coast Railway Station, merchant and director of Pompano's Board of Trade. Founded the Hardy-Sours-Walton Insurance Agency; Builder/owner of the 34-room Walton Hotel at 102 NE. First St. which he owned until he sold the hotel in May 1936. Settled in Pompano in 1909. Two children. (See First Families of Broward Bio, Imprints 14.2-1995.)

Senator Thomas E. Watson (Sep. 5, 18 56 - Sept. 1922) He died while still in office. Buried, Thomason, GA.
Senator, Vice-Presidential & Presidential nominee of the Populist Party.
From the Fort Lauderdale Herald, Sept. 29, 1922. Reprinted in Imprints 22.1 - 2004, p. 27.
THOS. E. WATSON DIES SUDDENLY IN WASHINGTON
Another powerful and picturesque figure passed from public life in the death Tuesday of Senator Thomas E. Watson of Georgia. His death occurred at 2:40 A.m., and was unexpected, according to physicians resulting from an attack of asthma.
The senator had been a sufferer for several weeks from the disease and only last Sunday experienced an acute attack. Two physicians and a nurse were with him when he died but the widow who is in ill health and other relatives were at the home in Thomason, Ga., for which point Mr. Watson had planned to depart on the death of his death.
For forty years Mr. Watson had been a national as well as a state political figure. He was nominated by the populist part for president in 1904 after receiving its vice-presidential nomination in 1896. He was a populist member of the house of representatives in 1891-1893. In 1920 he was elected senator as he said, "on an anti Wilson, anti League of Nations and anti war measures" platform, defeating former Senator Hoke Smith and former Governor Hugh Dorsey. He was 66 years old September 5th last, and his senatorial term would have expired March 3, 1927. The funeral party left Washington Wednesday for Thom[a]son where internment will occur. A senatorial committee will attend. Senate flags were placed at half mast for a period of thirty days and the senate will adjourn out of respect when it reconvenes. A day also will be set for memorial services. President and Mrs. Harding headed those who proffered condolences.
The citizens of Fort Lauderdale had more than a passing interest in Senator Watson due to the fact that a number of years ago he came to this city, purchased a tract of land on the ocean and erected the building now known as the Las Olas Inn. For a number of years he spent his winters at Las Olas and much of his best literary work was done here. He sold the property several years ago, making a handsome profit on it and since that time had maintained a winter home at Jupiter. Senator Watson had many warm admirers in this community, who will feel the loss of a friend keenly.

John H. Weidmuller
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a plumber.

Mrs. E. E. Weiland
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a dressmaker.

Dick Whelan
Realtor and resident of Fort Lauderdale who had the unfortunate experience of being a victim of mistaken identity. While working in Hendersonville, NC, was arrested on an embezzlement charge in Miami. (See Imprints 22.1 - 2003, p. 23, reprint from Fort Lauderdale Herald of July 28, 1922. Also listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a realtor and working in real estate, farms, estates, acreage, rentals and investments. Address 131 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale.)

Peter Jonas "Johnny" Weissmuller (June 2, 1904 Freidorf, Hungary - Jan. 21, 1984 Acapulco, Mexico)
Buried at the Valley of The Light Cemetery, Acapulco.
Olympic Champion & Actor. János Weißmüller (his birthname) was the son of Petrus & Ersebet (Kersch) Weißmüller and emigrated with his parents to the US as a baby. Johnny Weismuller was a 5-Gold Medal Olympic Swimming Champion who won 52 national championships & set 67 world records. He was inducted into Body Building Guild Hall of Fame & recipient of the American Patriot Award. He was also the Founding Chairman of Fort Lauderdale's International Swimming Hall of Fame, but is clearly remembered for his portrayal of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan in the movies. Johnny Weissmuller was married five times and the 1st 4 marriages ended in divorce: Bobbe Arnst (1931-1933), Lupe Velez (1933-1939), Beryl Scott (1939-1948, 3 children), Allene Gates (1948-1962) and Maria Bauman (1963-1984). Johnny Weismuller lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from 1965 - 1973.

  • Tarzan The Ape Man (1932)
  • Tarzan And His Mate (1934)
  • Tarzan Escapes (1936)
  • Tarzan Finds a Son (1939)
  • Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941)
  • Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942)
  • Tarzan Triumphs (1943)
  • Tarzan's Desert Mystery (1943)
  • Tarzan And The Amazons (1945)
  • Tarzan And The Leopard Woman (1946)
  • Tarzan And The Huntress (1947)
  • Tarzan And The Mermaids (1948)
  • Plus 16 Jungle Jim Movies

John and Preston Wells
Chicago brothers and founders of the historic Riverside Hotel, Fort Lauderdale's oldest hotel which opened Dec. 17, 1936 at 620 East Las Olas Blvd. The Wells brothers used to visit the area for fishing and hired their charter boat mate to run their first hotel which was called the Las Olas Hotel. They hired architect Francis Abreu to design a new 80 room hotel which called the Riverside Hotel. It was so successful that within a year, it was expanded to accommodate 125 rooms in a six story structure. Many famous people have stayed at the Riverside including Ronald Reagan and members of the Du Pont family.

Fred M. Wertz
Fred M. Wertz and G. Albert Windham were listed in the R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as operating the business of Windham & Wertz at The Glade 111 N. River.

R. H. Whitenall
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a railroad and express agent.

Thomas Whiteside
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as operating a restaurant.

T. C. Williams
Listed in the R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as a grocer.

G Albert and Paul D. Windham
Confectioners. Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as operating Windham's Confectionery at the NW Corner of Brickell Ave. and N. River. G. Albert Windham, along with Fred M. Wertz, was also listed for the business of Windham & Wertz at The Glade 111 N. River.

World War I Roll of Honor
Residents of Broward County who lost their lives while serving in the Great War.

  • Robert Agee
  • Robert Bethel
  • Shelby Layman
  • Wm. C. Morris
  • Lt. Billie Starr
  • Edward H. Strickland

Floyd L. and Lula Jane (Bush) Wray
Founders of Flamingo Gardens in Davie. Jane was musician, teacher, poet and gardener. The Wrays moved to Florida from Michigan in 1925 to establish a branch of the House of Crane Tobacco Company, but Floyd joined with Joe Young to sell land in Hollywood-By-The Sea. After the devastating hurricane of 1926, he saw an opportunity to grow citrus and established Flamingo Groves with partners Frank Stirling and C. F. Hammerstein. He originally sold parcels of land with a right to grow citrus for 5 years, at which time the parcels would be resold to the Wrays. In 1928, Frank Stirling helped the Wrays create the botanical gardens and by 1939, the parcels covered over 2,000 acres. In 1955, Jane Wray established an art center called Garden Galleries of Flamingo Groves. Flamingo Groves was dissolved in 1966 and Jane Wray's will established the name Flamingo Gardens. Their summer home which was built in 1933 is an open to the public and is part of a non-profit attraction run by the Floyd L. Wray Memorial Foundation.

O. T. Yarbray
Listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925 as operating a laundry.

Dr. Albert D. Young
Physician listed in R. L. Polk & Co. Florida Gazetteer of 1925.

George W. Young
Fort Lauderdale's first developer.

Joseph Wesley Young
Developer of Hollywood-By-The Sea. Dreamed of 30,000 residents in a planned city that conformed to the "City Beautiful Movement" of the 1920s. Responsible for dredging the area of Port Everglades which opened Feb. 22, 1928.