Born: May 9, 1868
Died: October 29, 1941
First Term: June 8 1900 - June 4, 1902
Second Term: June 3, 1908 - June 4, 1910
Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Francis Wing moved to Tampa in 1889 where he opened a furniture store and laundry. Later on, he became a successful real estate developer. Wing married Annie Hale in 1892 and, in the following year, built her a house on North Morgan Street where the couple raised their two children: Margaret and Albert. Wing also constructed as well as sold houses and builder of the notable Puritan Hotel in Tampa. He also served as the director of the Lyons Fertilizer Company and was a board member of several other local businesses.
Politically active, Wing served two years on the City Council (June 1898 - June 1900). Afterward, he ran unopposed as the Citizens' League candidate for the June 1900 mayoral election. During Wing's first administration, Tampa enjoyed a steady population growth due, in large part, to the economic prosperity from the cigar industry in Ybor City and the Port of Tampa. This growth also placed a strain on public works and services that were not equipped to handle the large influx of new residents to the city. Tampa was also in dire need of more medical facilities, places of entertainment and major expansion of public works to accommodate the growing population. Wing began to alleviate the strains placed on public works and services but was unable to complete his program before the end of his term as mayor.
During his second term (June 1908 - June 1910), Wing was instrumental in the construction of the Gordon Keller Hospital and began to alleviate the public demand on city services by increasing the police, fire and other departments. He also initiated an expansion in public works projects such as sewers and water drainage. During his second tern as mayor, Wing made substantial improvements to the Port of Tampa and, in 1910, the U.S. Congress appropriated $1,750,000 to complete development of the port.
After his second term as mayor, Wing retired from politics and devoted himself to business, family and social activities that included the Free Masons and the Elks Club. Francis Wing died in Tampa on October 29, 1941.
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 6, 1899 - March 7, 1905 Roll # 3
March 11, 1905 - December 7, 1910 Roll # 4