Flagler (January 2, 1830--May 20, 1913) is, unquestionably,
one of the legendary names in the history of Florida.
best known for bringing his Florida East Coast Railway to
the shores of Biscayne Bay to help settle Miami and for building
the Key West Extension, which is often regarded as the greatest
railroad engineering feat in U.S history. His other important
contributions to the Sunshine State are often overlooked.
Flagler operated steamship lines, one of America’s first major
hotel chains (The FEC Hotel Company) and the Model Land Company,
all of which were instrumental in Florida’s early development.
death in 1913, the system he created continued to operate
and remained intact until the 1931 bankruptcy of the Florida
East Coast Railway. The Railway did emerge from bankruptcy
in 1961 but was no longer a part of the Flagler System. No
other name in Florida history is as readily recognized as
that of Henry Flagler. To honor his contributions, a Florida
county is named for him as well as schools, parks, streets,
playgrounds and monuments.