Robert W. Easley - 29th Mayor Of Tampa

Robert W. Easley - 29th Mayor Of Tampa

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Born: 1848 

Died: August 14, 1896

Term: March 9, 1894 - March 8, 1895

Born on a plantation in Pototoc, Mississippi, Robert Easleywas an attorney by profession but shortly after his arrival in Tampa in 1891 hebecame business manager and co-owner of the Tampa Tribune. Easley's businessskills and legal experience lead to his becoming President of the Tampa andPalmetto Beach Railroad. He later established the Florida Loan and InvestmentCompany.

Robert Easley became involved in local politics and, in 1893,became a member of the City Council and, the following year, was elected mayor.During his term as mayor, the winter freeze of 1894-95 destroyed about 70percent of the citrus crop in Florida. Most of the citrus growers inTampa-Hillsborough and surrounding areas were ruined and the city's revenuesfrom property taxes declined in response. While Easley and the City Councilattempted to provide some economic relief to citrus growers, there was littlethat could be done due to a substantially reduced City Treasury.

In poor health, Easley declined to campaign for re-electionas mayor and, in April 1895, returned to his native Mississippi where he died onAugust 14, 1896.

Sources for this Biographical Sketch:

Grismer, Karl H., Tampa: A History of the City and the Tampa Bay Region ofFlorida, St. Petersburg Printing Company, FL, 1950.

Robinson, Ernest L., History of Hillsborough County, Florida: Narrative andBiographical, The Record Company, St. Augustine, FL, 1928.

Tampa Council Minutes, Cityof Tampa Archives, Tampa, FL

October 19, 1891 - December 28, 1899 Roll # 2