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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

John T. Lesley Home

 
 
John T. Lesley Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 31, 2012
1. John T. Lesley Home Marker
Inscription. At this site, 407 East Street, was the home of John Thomas Lesley, built in 1897. Pioneer settler, soldier,statesman and entrepreneur, Lesley (1835 - 1913) was one of Tampa's greatest early leaders/ A native of Madison County, Florida, he came in 1848 to Tampa, where his father, the Rev. Leroy G. Lesley, served as head of the local Methodist Mission. In the Third Seminole War he served in a local company commanded by his father and during the War Between the States he organized the "Sunny South Guards," the first unit to leave Tampa for active duty with the Confederate Army. After serving with distinction in Tennessee and rising to the rank of Major, Lesley returned to Tampa in 1863. He then organized a second company for service in the Tampa Bay area as part of the Confederate "Cow Cavalry," which he led as Captain until the close of the war. Then followed a brilliant career in which he served as Sheriff of Hillsborough County, Tax Assessor & Collector ex officio (1865 - 1867; Mayor of Tampa (1869); State Legislator (1877 - 1880 and 1883 - 1885); Vice President and founding member of the Tampa Board of Trade (1885);

(Reverse text)
Delegate and Second Vice President of the Florida Constitutional Convention (1885); and Mayor of the Town of Fort Brooke for most of the community's life from 1888 until its
John T. Lesley Home Marker, reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 31, 2012
2. John T. Lesley Home Marker, reverse side
annexation by Tampa in 1907. He also played key roles in the creation of Ybor City; the establishment of the city's first waterworks and electric streetcar service; and the coming of the first railroad into the Tampa Bay area. At the height of his powers in 1887 he was called by the Tampa Journal "a man of great influence, (who) exerts today more power in the State Legislature than our present Representatives, the Board of Trade and the whole town of Tampa." On his death in 1913 the Tampa Daily Times noted that "He was a part of Tampa, and a big part, from the city's infancy ... His death marks the breaking of the final link that service the past and its traditions from the present and its hopes, and many tears have been shed because of the breaking of the bond."His name lives on today in the John T. Lesley Camp No. 1282, Sons of Confederate Veterans.
 
Erected 1996 by Tampa Historical Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans marker series.
 
Location. 27° 56.987′ N, 82° 27.178′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is on East Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located between E Kennedy Blvd (US 41)
John T. Lesley Home Marker seen along East Street image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 31, 2012
3. John T. Lesley Home Marker seen along East Street
and E Twiggs Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 407 East Street, Tampa FL 33602, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Orange Grove Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Hillsborough County's Confederate Monument (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Fitzgerald Kennedy (about 500 feet away); Memoria In Aeterna, 1911 (about 600 feet away); War Memorial (about 600 feet away); Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial I (about 800 feet away); Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial II (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1851 † 1891 (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
 
Regarding John T. Lesley Home. He was a captain in the "Cow Calvary," Floridians who herded cattle north through Florida to reach hungry Confederate soldiers. After the war he kept raising cattle, becoming a state legislator and the area's biggest landowner.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. "Cow Calvary"
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
John T. Lesley Home Marker at present day 407 East Street image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 31, 2012
4. John T. Lesley Home Marker at present day 407 East Street
John T. Lesley image. Click for full size.
By City of Tampa
5. John T. Lesley
Oaklawn Cemetery John T. Lesley Capt. Co. K 4th Fla. Inf., CSA image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, January 9, 2010
6. Oaklawn Cemetery John T. Lesley Capt. Co. K 4th Fla. Inf., CSA
John T. Lesley was a pioneer cattleman, an Indian fighter, and a Captain in the Confederate Army. He formed his own volunteer company, the “Sunny South Guards,” in 1860. Later, he became a state senator. Son William T. Lesley was Sheriff and a member of the 1885 Constitutional Convention. The union of the Lesley and Brown families (John T. was married to William T. Brown’s daughter, Margaret) produced one of the most powerful local dynasties in politics, business and agriculture. Theodore Lesley, John’s son, was County Historian and an ardent preservationist of local records. (Historic Guides and the Tampa Historical Society)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 5, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 681 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 5, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   6. submitted on February 17, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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