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Image of a Mayor of Tampa

Born: June 3, 1858

Died: September 20, 1922

Term: June 5, 1896- June 5, 1898

Born in Appleton, Wisconsin, Myron Gillett moved to Florida in 1878 where he became one of the largest citrus growers in Polk and Marion Counties. On October 13, 1881, Gillette married Clara Hemmings with whom he had five children. He established the first and largest nursery in the State and was a founding member of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. After the winter freeze of 1894-1895 destroyed most of his citrus crop, Gillett sold the majority of his real estate holdings. He moved his family to Tampa where he established the Gillett Lumber Company and supervised the construction of the Tampa Building.

Gillett became active in both civic affairs and politics in Tampa and, in June 1896, he campaigned for mayor and won the election. During his term in office, Gillett actively supported capital improvements to the city and increasing municipal services to the citizens and businesses. Mayor Gillett believed that active government support of business would encourage a diverse business community in Tampa that, in turn, would benefit the residents and government. 

After leaving office, Gillett returned to his business enterprises. However, several years later he sold his real estate holdings in Tampa and moved to New York City, where he passed away on September 20, 1922.


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

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