Mayors of Tallahassee, Florida

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Mayor of Tallahassee
Seal of Tallahassee, Florida.png
Seal of City of Tallahassee
John E. Dailey.jpg
John E. Dailey

since November 19, 2018
Term length4 years
Inaugural holderCharles Haire

The Territory of Florida was created in 1822, and Tallahassee was established as the capital city by the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida in March 1824. Also in 1824, federal officials ordered Native Americans in the area to a reservation; they were Creek and Seminole.[1] Some took refuge to the south in the Everglades and successfully resisted removal, through the Seminole Wars.

Florida became a state in 1845. The intendants and mayors of the city of Tallahassee, Florida, United States include:

Intendants and Mayors[edit]

Antebellum period[edit]

  • 1828-1829 John Y. Gary
  • 1834 Robert J. Hackley, a pioneer settler sent by his father to an area by Tampa Bay. He was dispossessed of his land for the establishment of Fort Brooke.[6] A case on behalf of his heirs went to the Supreme Court.

Civil War era and Reconstruction[edit]

  • 1869-1870 Thaddeus Preston Tatum, was a druggist and served in the Battle of Natural Bridge. lived September 27 1835 - July 4 1873 and is buried in the Old City Cemetery.[12]


  • 1877 Jesse Bernard (also known as J. T. Bernard and Jesse Talbot Bernard), first Democratic mayor after Reconstruction, which ended the year he was elected.
  • 1880 Henry Bernreuter, born in Columbus, Georgia to German immigrants, he moved as a child with his family to Florida. He was a Confederate veteran who later served as sheriff and police chief.[14][15]
  • 1886 George W. Walker (Tallahassee, FL mayor)
  • 1887 A. J. Fish
  • 1888-1889 R. B. Gorman, served in the Confederate Army and was postmaster in Tallahassee.[16][17] As mayor, he signed on to a letter from the merchants of Tallahassee to the U.S. Army's Chief of Engineers calling for the St. Marks River to be made navigable to promote trade.[18] In 1889 he reported on negotiations with a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania company for a water works system.[19]
  • 1890-1894 Richard B. Carpenter, a shopkeeper. Later went into bankruptcy and had a legal case for exemption given individuals declaring bankruptcy, even though the firm was established as a separate entity. Decided on appeal in his favor.[20]
  • 1895-1896 Jesse Talbot Bernard, a teacher and judge who travelled around Florida to hear cases. Served in the Confederate Army. He kept a diary.[21]
  • 1898-1902 R. B. Gorman, return to office of mayor

20th century to WWII[edit]

  • 1909 Francis B. Winthrop, the Florida State Archives have a photo of the family home[26] as well as a photo of Winthrop, age 3.[27] Florida State University has a photo of him in what appears to be a military uniform ca. 1918[28] as well as some of his business documents in a collection of his family's papers.[29] His family owned the Barrow Hill Plantation and a house at 610 North Magnolia, which he lived in with his wife for years.
  • 1937 L. A. Wesson (Leonard A. Wesson, lived at 503 McDaniel)

Post-World War II[edit]

  • 1966 William Haywood Cates, Sr., longest-serving city commissioner in history of Tallahassee. Eventually lost to the first African American elected as commissioner. His son drowned in a hunting accident. Was a religion professor at Florida State University and helped found religious organizations in Tallahassee.[32]
  • 1970 Lee A. Everhart, founder and president of building company Everhart Construction Company[36]
  • 1977-1978 Neal D. Sapp, was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army and graduated from Florida State University with a business. He was a software developer and businessman. He died March 26, 2004.
  • 1979 Sheldon A. Hilaman, also served as a City Commissioner. Went by Shad. Hillaman Golf Course is named for him.[37]
  • 1980-1981 Hurley W. Rudd, also served as a city commissioner and multiple terms in the Florida legislature[38]
  • 1984 Kent Spriggs, a Civil Rights lawyer who also edited a book about Civil Rights leaders in the deep south. Appeared on C-Span while mayor discussing his duties.[40]
  • 2003-2014 John Marks, longest-serving mayor in the city's history

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "In the Arena: Mayors Over Time – Tallahassee Reports". Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Tallahassee, Leon County". Viva Florida. Tallahassee: Florida League of Cities. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "d.o. elected intendant in Tallahassee, fla. 1827".
  4. ^ Burgess, Louis Alexander (1 January 1973). Virginia soldiers of 1776: compiled from documents on file in the Virginia Land Office; together with material found in the Archives Department of the Virginia State Library, and other reliable sources. Genealogical Pub. Co. ISBN 9780806305295 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Floridian and Advocate (Tallahassee, Florida), Dec. 27, 1834, p. 3: Obituary
  6. ^ Burnett, Gene M. (1 June 1996). Florida's Past: People and Events That Shaped the State. Pineapple Press Inc. ISBN 9781561641178 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "A Journal of the Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the ... General Assembly of the State of Florida, at Its ... Session". 7 December 2018. p. 3.
  8. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Campaign Poster for James A. Berthelot, James M. Gilchrist, and James H. Gibson". Florida Memory.
  9. ^ "Towle House - Florida Historical Markers".
  10. ^ Court, Florida Supreme (10 December 2018). "Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Supreme Court of Florida" – via Google Books.
  11. ^ Court, Florida Supreme (10 December 2018). "Florida Reports" – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "Portrait of Thaddeus Preston Tatum - Tallahassee, Florida". Florida Memory.
  13. ^ "Notes on Reconstruction in Tallahassee and Leon County, 1866-1876". The Florida Historical Society Quarterly. 5 (3): 153–158. 1927. JSTOR 30150750.
  14. ^ "Henry Bernreuter, Memorial article by friend". The Weekly True Democrat.
  15. ^ "BERNREUTER, Henry". Florida Memory.
  16. ^ "R B Gorman obit 17 April 1918 -". Tallahassee Democrat.
  17. ^ House, Florida Legislature (8 December 1881). "Journal ..." pp. 2–27.
  18. ^ "Report of the Chief of Engineers U.S. Army". U.S. Government Printing Office. 8 December 1889 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ "The Engineering Record, Building Record and Sanitary Engineer". McGraw Publishing Company. 8 December 1889.
  20. ^ "Mayor r b carpenter bankrupt -". Tampa Bay Times.
  21. ^ Phillips, Rebecca; Bernard, Jesse Talbot (1939). "A Diary of Jesse Talbot Bernard". The Florida Historical Quarterly. 18 (2): 115–126. JSTOR 30145327.
  22. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Tallahassee Junior Museum officials". Florida Memory. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  23. ^ History of Florida, Past and Present: Historical and Biographical. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. 1923.
  24. ^ "Search Results". Florida Memory.
  25. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Portrait of William M. McIntosh Jr. standing by the Capitol - Tallahassee, Florida". Florida Memory.
  26. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Winthrop family home at 610 N. Monroe St. in Tallahassee, Florida". Florida Memory.
  27. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Francis B. Winthrop at age three". Florida Memory.
  28. ^ "Francis B. Winthrop -".
  29. ^ "Winthrop Family Papers, 1592-1970 - FSU Special Collections & Archives".
  30. ^ Lawrence Kestenbaum (ed.). "Mayors and Postmasters of Tallahassee, Florida". Political Graveyard. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  31. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Fred S. Winterle and son's Gulf oil distribution trucks". Florida Memory.
  32. ^ "Cates Ave. named for former city commissioner". Tallahassee Democrat.
  33. ^ a b "Letter: Was it Wade or Berkowitz who reopened city pools?". Tallahassee Democrat.
  34. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "New City Commissioner Gene Berkowitz with his wife in Tallahassee". Florida Memory.
  35. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Gene Berkowitz reading to class in Tallahassee". Florida Memory.
  36. ^ Butcher, Lee (10 December 1976). Florida's power structure: who's part of it and why. Trend Pub. ISBN 9780882510699 – via Google Books.
  37. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Men on the course at the Winewood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Florida". Florida Memory.
  38. ^ 2006 obituary in the Tallahassee Democrat
  39. ^ [1][dead link]
  40. ^ "Kent Spriggs -".
  41. ^ "City Officials". City of Tallahassee. Archived from the original on June 5, 1997 – via Internet Archive, Wayback Machine.