Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 26 >> Swordfish to Tanning >> Tampa

Tampa

port, tobacco, city, buildings, schools and ports

TAMPA, Fla., city, port of entry, county scat of Hillsborough County, at the mouth of Hillsborough River at its entrance to Tampa Bay, and on the Atlantic Coast Line and Sea board Line railroads, being the Gulf terminus of both, about 29 miles from the Gulf of Mex ico. It has a harbor, the best on the western coast of Florida, and it has regular steamer connection with all the large Gulf ports, large ports of the West Indies and with New York and a number of other Atlantic ports. In the vicinity are large mines of phosphate. Lumber and naval stores are largely produced and shipped.

Manufacturing.— The chief manufacturing industry of Tampa is connected with tobacco products. In 1914 the number of factories was over 200 (three-fourths of them 'Icing cigar fac tories), the capital invested $9,858,000, and the value of the product for the year $14,039,000. The wages paid to workmen are more than $6,500,000 annually. The tobacco used in the factories is nearly all imported from Havana, Cuba. The manufacturing of tobacco in Tampa is largely done by Cuban immigrants. The Sumatra 'wrapper leaf" grown in Florida is said to be superior in quality to that grown in Sumatra, and is used to some extent.

Commerce.— The amount of tobacco leaf imported into the port of Tampa from Havana has for several years exceeded that of any other United States port except New York. The internal revenue paid by the city exceeds $1,000,000 annually, and the custom collections for the district are about $9,000,000. Phosphate comes next after tobacco, and over $3,000,000 is sometimes shipped abroad in a single year. The quantity of fruits and vegetables which are being shipped to Northern markets is in creasing.

Buildings and Municipal Improvements.— Since 1886, when Tampa was made a port of entry, it has grown rapidly. To accommodate its late number of winter• guests, many large and beautiful hotels have been erected. Other

fine public buildings are the custom-house, the churches, the schools, the banks and many of the business blocks.

The electric car lines connect the suburban sections with the different parts of the city. The water supply comes from springs; the daily use is 7,000,000 gallons. The pumping capacity of works is 10,000,000 gallons.

Schools, Etc.— There are 18 church buildings. There are 12 public school buildings, including the Hillsborough County High School, established in 1886. Another high school is in charge of the Sisters of the Holy Name, who conduct three parish schools in Tampa and one in each of the nearby sub urbs, West Tampa and Port Tampa. There is a college for boys, under the management of the Society of Jesus, and five private schools. There are three daily and five weekly news papers. The six banks have a combined cap ital of $1,000,000, and deposits amounting to over $6,000,000.

Government.— The government is vested in a mayor and a city council, elected by the peo ple for terms of two years. The council has 11 members, three being elected at large. There are police, sanitary and public works departments, including a board of health with ample powers to protect the city's interests.

History.— Tampa is the historical landing place of Narvaez and De Soto. of ill-fated early Spanish expeditions. Its first settlement began with the establishment of the United States military post of Fort Brooke, during the wars with the Seminole Indians. It was the seat of small shipbuilding and salt works dur ing the Civil War, and was captured by Fed eral gunboats. Its recent rapid growth dates from the coming of railroads and cigar facto ries in 1886. Pop. (1910) 37,782; (1919) 52,000.