Author Topic: Henry B. Plant: The King of Florida  (Read 7861 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Henry B. Plant: The King of Florida
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2015, 01:12:13 PM »
BTW, the same yellow fever epidemic also devastated Tampa. We're not so unique in some aspects of our history.

the difference of course is that the government actively helped out Jacksonville, lol.

I suppose that people found the giant port city on the east coast of the United States (the official port of entry for the state of Florida)  that was built around it's river port the way that they always had ;)

What made Jacksonville an economic powerhouse of course was the rail to ocean connection that happened downtown.
I'm still don't see how you can suggest that Plant's rail and streetcar investments did not have a significant impact on Jax during the 19th century. Jax was a little dusty southern town before rail came to town.
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Tacachale

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Re: Henry B. Plant: The King of Florida
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2015, 01:17:43 PM »
So you're saying Plant was insignificant to the late 19th century growth of Jax and Tampa?

sure at least as far as Jax is concerned.  Notice the disproportionate numbers comparatively.  between 80 and 90, for example, tampa grows 700%.

In Jax it barely doubles.

Between 1880 and 1890, Jax grew 125%, outgrowing Tampa in absolute numbers! That's higher than the 103% during the rebuilding after the Great Fire (1900 - 1910). That's pretty insane growth, especially when you factor in the deaths and bad press of the yellow fever outbreak that decade. The only decade since then that we've "grown" higher than that percentage is when the city merged with the county. 1960 to 1970, due to consolidation, the official city population grew 163%. Without a doubt, Plant's investments in Jax were significant in the 19th century and they keep on paying dividends for the city's economy today.

Teddy Roosevelt intervened directly in Jacksonville's situation after the Yellow Fever Epidemic in 1888, Lake, I know you know this.  Jacksonville became the state center for dealing with the aftermath of the disease and government resources flooded to the city.  Its one of the reasons Jville was so solidly Progressive by the time of the Great Fire.

https://books.google.com/books?id=Yikk2eA9CuQC&pg=PA205&lpg=PA205&dq=yellow+fever+jacksonville+1889&source=bl&ots=eoYynGUER7&sig=BDxChWI-ZudxMLWv59G14ktCyTQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBWoVChMI_-650_fuxgIVwosNCh3ehg6I#v=onepage&q=yellow%20fever%20jacksonville%201889&f=false

The Subtropical Exposition, one of the other great 'tourist' draws of the era (before the rest of Florida was much more than an glimmer on the horizon) opened in 1888, just prior to the Yellow Fever Epidemic, and in fact was attended by Plant and many other luminaries.  But after the Yellow Fever Outbreak, the Feds and the State poured a lot of resources into bringing people back to Jacksonville to help it recover.

here is a great resource:

http://www.fphsonline.com/jrnlpdf/journal08.1.pdf

surprised you didn't know that. ;)

The Yellow Fever was an interesting time. In Jacksonville, it resulted in the state government dissolving the local government and running the city for five years. Much of the state's investment locally done was to roll back the gains made by African-American during Reconstruction and ensure white dominance in Florida's largest city.
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thelakelander

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Re: Henry B. Plant: The King of Florida
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2015, 01:25:59 PM »
How would rolling back the gains made by African-Americans result in Jax becoming more progressive?
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Tacachale

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Re: Henry B. Plant: The King of Florida
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2015, 01:44:29 PM »
How would rolling back the gains made by African-Americans result in Jax becoming more progressive?

Well, it got progressively worse for African-Americans after that. Beyond that, I got nothing.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

thelakelander

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Re: Henry B. Plant: The King of Florida
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2015, 07:05:15 AM »
So you're saying Plant was insignificant to the late 19th century growth of Jax and Tampa?

sure at least as far as Jax is concerned.  Notice the disproportionate numbers comparatively.  between 80 and 90, for example, tampa grows 700%.

In Jax it barely doubles. 

Rail in Jax is probably more significant to the 20th century growth as Rail Networks and continental wealth became more prominent to the larger economy.  Surely you can see that in the numbers.

An email from Ock that I think is worth sharing in this thread:

Quote
Ennis, Plants railroads were by far the most important lines to reach Jacksonville and beyond. Without Plant's system the FEC would have died on the vine. The NS line was essentially a shortline until the 20Th Century, and the lines that would become the Seaboard Air Line in the 1890's had suffered bankruptcy after bankruptcy for decades, both before and AFTER the SAL came into being. PLANT brought about a solvent, solid, carrier that Florida had not seen before.

Throughout the early 20th century, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was known as 'THE STANDARD RAILROAD OF THE SOUTH.' There was a story in that, more then a slogan, Plant had indeed created THE STANDARD which all other carriers would strive for.

Flagler joked with him once; "Friend Plant, where is this place they call Tampa?" Plant didn't miss a step in his reply; "Friend Flagler, just follow the crowds!"

A funny thing happened with his taking control of the Main Street Railway Company. This line had been built to 3' foot narrow gauge, when they modernized with electric cars the owners had the entire route rebuilt to standard gauge 4' 8 1/2". When Plant's Jacksonville Street Railroad bought out the road a city ordinance designed to keep Plant from killing the competition through the agency of his streetcar line forced him to RE-RE-Gauge the entire line to 5' 2" 'JACKSONVILLE TRACTION GAUGE'. This was done to guarantee that the streetcar line could never carry freight cars in interchange service and competition to the other railroads. (St. Augustine, Fernandina and Green Cove Springs streetcar lines ALL carried freight and passengers).
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Henry B. Plant: The King of Florida
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2015, 10:23:59 PM »
Imagine, no mention of massive taxpayer subsidies. The old guys could learn a few things from corporations today who perpetually look to government at all levels to shovel money into their pockets. They did it the hard way back then. How silly, when there are taxpayers everywhere you look, just waiting to be fleeced by the next corporation!

Rest in Peace, Mr. Plant. You earned it the old fashioned way.

You should do a little Google search on "railroad land grants"

acme, the 'free land myth,' is an oft repeated anti-rail lobby fiction. IN REALITY: Land grants had a big payoff for the federal government, as the railroads had to give the government reduced rates to ship. When this expired in 1946, the railroads had repaid the government at 10 times the value of the land.