Horace Cadwell Gordon - 39th Mayor Of Tampa

Horace Cadwell Gordon

Born: March 13, 1872

Died: June 19, 1924

Term: June 11, 1920 - January 4, 1921

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Horace Cadwell Gordon was the son of Richard and Lucy Gordon. He studied law at the University of Michigan and the Cincinnati Law School where he graduated with an L.L.B. in 1895. Gordon married Lucy Weiner on December 4, 1885 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Horace Gordon moved to Tampa with his wife and on November 24, 1896 had a son, Horace Cadwell Gordon, Jr. Less than a month later, on December 10, 1895, Gordon, Sr. established a successful law practice.

In 1902, Mayor James McKay, Jr. appointed Horace Gordon a municipal judge. Gordon also served as a judge of the criminal court from 1904 until 1913 when he was appointed State's Attorney. He served in this position until 1920 when he resigned to campaign for mayor and won the election. However, Gordon was in office only seven months. During his brief tenure, one of the worst hurricanes in memory struck Tampa on October 25, 1920. Winds in excess of one hundred miles per hour and heavy rains devastated the city. The hurricane severely damaged homes and businesses, destroyed the seawall along Bayshore Boulevard and many of the city's wharves. City government implemented emergency services to assist residents, businesses and help repair the damage.

In January 1921, the mayor-commissioner system of government went into effect and stipulated that Tampa must hold new elections. Horace Gordon campaigned for re-election under the new government system but lost to his opponent Charles H. Brown.

Horace Gordon died in Tampa on June 19, 1924.

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, Cityof Tampa Archives, Tampa, FL

February 27, 1917 - June 11, 1920 Roll # 7

June 15, 1920 - May 29, 1923 Roll # 8