Thomas Edward Jackson - 15th And 24th Mayor Of Tampa
Born: July 9, 1852
First Term: August 14, 1877 - August 14, 1878
Second Term: March 6, 1889 - March 5, 1890
Born in Tampa, Thomas Jackson attended Hillsborough County schools and, later, worked in Tampa's custom house. Later, he established a business with his father, John Jackson, who briefly served as the mayor of Tampa in February 1862. Thomas Jackson married Etta Warner in Tampa on November 3, 1877. The couple had four children: Mary Ellen, Bernier, Lulu Marguerite and John Edward.
Thomas Jackson was elected as the city's 15th mayor in August 1877, and was the first Tampa native to serve as mayor. Jackson and city council raised real estate taxes and license fees on businesses and residents to improve the city's infrastructure and services. One of the common complaints from citizens was that vast amounts of sawdust and wood chips from the logging mills on the Hillsborough River were being dumped in the river. In turn, the winds blew this debris into the eyes and mouths of residents and would stick to their clothes. In response, the city passed a regulation that required logging mills to discard their sawdust and wood slivers at least a mile away from Tampa. They also imposed substantial fines for illegal dumping of sawdust.
In March 1889, Jackson was re-elected mayor and during his second term focused on capital improvements, continuing the expansion of city services and encouraging commercial development in Tampa. He later served as Treasurer for Hillsborough County and County Commissioner. Jackson also worked as the bookkeeper for the Tampa's sheriff's office and was a real estate investor.
Thomas Jackson died in Tampa.
Sources for this Biographical Sketch:
Covington, Dr. James W. and Wavering, Debbie Lee, "The Mayors of Tampa: A Brief Administrative History," Tampa, FL: University of Tampa, 1987.
Grismer, Karl H., Tampa: A History of the City and the Tampa Bay Region of Florida, St. Petersburg Printing Company, FL, 1950.
Robinson, Ernest L., History of Hillsborough County, Florida: Narrative and Biographical, The Record Company, St. Augustine, FL, 1928.
Tampa Council Minutes, City of Tampa Archives, Tampa, FL
January 1, 1857 - October 2, 1891 Microfilm Roll # 1