bottom line is that Henry Morrison Flagler invested
over $40 million in the Florida peninsula and,
more than any other, was responsible for Florida's
construction of hotels at points along the Florida
East Coast railroad and his development of the
agricultural industry through the Model Land
Company established tourism and agriculture
the entire east coast of Florida,
a state that at the time was largely an uninhabited
frontier, demanded a great deal of foresight
and perseverance. Nearly a century later, the
effects of Henry Flagler's incredible accomplishments
can still be seen clearly throughout Florida.
you Mr. Henry Flagler for the part you played
in making St. Augustine and all of Florida what
it is today!
are a few highlights of Mr. Flagler's biography:
Morrison Flagler was born on January 2,
1830 in Hopewell, New
York to Reverend Isaac and
Elizabeth Caldwell Harkness Flagler.
November 9, 1853, he married Mary Harkness.
and York Salt Company goes under
founded the Flagler and York Salt Company,
a salt mining and production business
Michigan in 1862 with his brother-in-law
Barney York. By 1865, the end of the Civil
War caused a drop in the demand for salt
and the Flagler and York Salt Company
next year Flagler reentered the grain
business as a commission merchant. Flagler
had become acquainted with John
D. Rockefeller, who worked
as a commission agent with Hewitt and
Tuttle for the Harkness Grain Company.
Oil Company emerges
January 10, 1870, the Rockefeller, Andrews
and Flagler partnership emerged as a joint-stock
corporation named Standard Oil and
by 1872, Standard Oil led the American
oil refining industry, producing 10,000
barrels per day. Five years later Standard
Oil moved its headquarters to New
York City, and the Flaglers moved
to their new home at 509 Fifth Avenue
and Mary visit Florida
1878, Flagler and his wife visited
Florida for the winter.
his second wife, Flagler traveled to St.
Augustine, Florida where they
found the city charming, but the hotel
facilities and transportation systems
inadequate. Flagler recognized Florida's
potential to attract out-of-state visitors.
Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine
returned to St.
Augustine in 1885 and began construction
on the 540-room Hotel Ponce de Leon.
The Hotel Ponce de Leon opened January
10, 1888 and was an instant success.
beginning of tourism in Florida
purchased the Jacksonville,
St. Augustine & Halifax
Railroad, the first railroad in what would
eventually become the Florida
East Coast Railway.
built a modern depot facility as well
as schools, hospitals and churches, systematically
revitalizing the largely abandoned historic
the operation of three railroads, by spring
1889 Flagler's system offered service
to develop hotel facilities to entice
northern tourists to visit Florida,
Flagler bought and expanded the Hotel
Ormond, located along the railroad's route
north of Daytona.
personal dedication to the state of Florida
was demonstrated when he began construction
on his private residence in St. Augustine.
Flagler's remains are entombed in St.
1913, Flagler fell down a flight of stairs
at Whitehall. He never recovered from the
fall and died of his injuries on May 20
at 84 years of age.
was buried in St.
Augustine alongside his daughter,
Jennie Louise and first wife, Mary Harkness.
note about the pictures and images on this site---most
are from the Florida
Photographic Archives, with a searchable
database of thousands of photos. Some have been
borrowed from other sites, for which appreciation
is expressed. It is not believed that any photos
on this site are copyrighted. However, use of
photos and images from the Florida
Photographic Archives must be credited pursuant