November 18, 1850-October 25, 1924
|James Edmunson Ingraham (1850 - 1924)
Mr. Ingraham became the vice president of the Florida East Coast Railway. He was born November
18, 1850, at Dartford, Green Lake County, Wisconsin as the oldest son of Rev. John Phillips
Thurston Ingraham and Cornelia Fanning Root Ingraham. . He graduated from Racine College and
moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he married and worked as a clerk. Jame's grandfather in the
1870s was the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Augustine.
On June 19, 1872 he married Maria Elizabeth Baker in St. Louis, Missouri. Mrs. Ingraham was the
daughter of Samuel A. Baker of England. They had three children: Annie Ingraham (died in infancy),
James Draper Ingraham (married Frances H. Hopkins), and Kathleen Maria (married Geowge W.
Gibbs, Jr. James Draper Ingraham would become the general agent of the F. E. C. ry. Co., industiral
In 1874 Ingraham came to Florida and for several years worked with General Henry S. Sanford as a
clerk for a large general store and general manager. Ingraham was the secretary and treasurer of the
Sanford Telegraph Company. He lay out and developed the Town of Sanford for eight or nine years.
He also built the South Florida railroad from a point near Sanford to Kissimmee for the R. M.
Pulsifer Company, owners of The Boston Herald. He was President and manager of this railway in
1879 and was president until 1892. Henry Plant bought a three-fifths interest in the railway and
extended it to Tampa, Gainesville, and High Springs. Connections were made to a line of steamers
that traveled between Port Tampa, Key West, and Havana. On March 16, 1892 Ingraham and
Captain J. W. Newman led an expedition from Fort Myers across the Everglades to Miami.
The Story of the Everglades (Florida East Coast Railway The Homeseekers, 1910)
The expedition of Mr. J. E. Ingraham in March, 1892, across the Everglades, was the first of which
any record has been kept that we have any knowledge of Mr. Ingraham was then president of the
South Florida Railway company, now a part of the Atlantic Coast Line Ry; he is now a
vice-President of the Florida East Coast Ry. Co. His party consisted of twenty-one men. (included
S. O. Chase, of Sanford, W. R. Moses of Ft. Pierce, J. H. Newman a civil engineer) They started
from Fort Myers on March 1st, 1892. They entered the Everglades at Fort Shackleford. They ran a
line of levels from Fort Shackleford to Miami. They took soundings of the muck at frequent intervals.
They observed the physical conditions of the 'Glades; took numbers of photographs. The water being
low they waded the whole distance, some fifty-seven miles, arriving at Miami April 7th, 1892. The
journey was expected to take nine days and they carried supplies for twelve day. The trip took
They found that the highest point in the 'Glades was twenty feet above sea level; that the flow was
3-10th of a foot to the mile towards the southeast; the depth of muck varied from two to twelve feet.
They were three weeks in making the fifty-seven miles, averaging about a mile and seven-tenths daily
when in the Everglades proper. The party had perfect health, although they endured great hardships,
particularly from lack of food. The time consumed being ten days longer than anticipated and
provided for, hence rations had to be cut down to the lowest possible limit.
Mr. J. W. Newman was the engineer of the party, and had charge of the survey. He afterwards was
made superintendent of the State drainage works of the Everglades.
Mr. Ingraham, from information gained on this expedition, became convinced of the feasibility of
draining the Everglades, under a practical and systematic plan, but has never thought it fair or just to
force the cost of drainage upon five counties of the State while the whole State participates in the
profits, but when the drainage work began to assume such shape that the development of the whole
State might suffer severely, and he greatly retarded unless the drainage system be perfected and
completed promptly and within a reasonable time. Mr. Ingraham used all the influence he could bring
to bear to secure the full and complete cooperation of the great land companies, interested with the
drainage board and thus help to complete this great work.
Mr. Ingraham has always taken the stand that Lake Okeechobee should be treated as a great fresh
water reservoir; that the waters flowing from Lake Okeechobee should be controlled by locks, at
proper intervals, so that drainage and irrigation should go hand in hand; that ample lateral canals will
be essential to the drainage of these lands in wet seasons and for irrigation in dry ones; that under
such conditions these lands will become highly desirable for cultivation of sugar cane, rice, corn, oats,
potatoes and other great staple crops. Mr. Ingraham says that the great land companies interested in
the Everglades have stated that they will provide sugar refineries, rice mills, etc., to handle such crops
to the best advantage. Mr. Ingraham says, too, that he is confident that alfalfa will grow upon these
lands successfully if care is taken in the planting; that he has seen some fine alfalfa grown on muck
lands near Yamato.
Mr. Ingraham has made numerous other expeditions into the 'Glades, notably that of August, 1892,
when he went up to the head or source of every river and creek in the Everglades emptying into the
Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic ocean from Punta Rassa to Jupiter.
In 1892 Mr. Ingraham was listed as general agent for Mr. Flagler and was in charge of renting the
stores and cottages owned by Mr. Flagler in St. Augustine and elsewhere. He also laid out Miami.
There were agencies in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Bowling Green, Ohio; Saginaw,
Michigan, Chicago, Washington D. C., and Toronto, Canada. The Dallas Land Company owned
lots in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The Model Land Company owned land in Dade County
Ingraham moved to St. Augustine in 1892 and from that year to 1897 he was the general agent for
Henry Flagler. (He knew Flagler from 1885.) Ingraham did the work for the establishment of the
West Palm Beach and Miami community.
From 1897-99 he was the land commissioner for the Florida East Coast Railway Company and from
1897 to 1903 was third vice president of the railway company. By 1903 he was in charge of
industrial development along the railroad.
Vice President of Florida East Coast Railway and President of Model Land Company In
1904 James Ingraham became the Vice President of the FECR and President of the Model Land
Company. He would hold these positions until his death. In 1909 he became the senior vice
president. He was the president of the Model Land Company, The Perrine Grand Land Company,
the Chuluota Company, the Okeechobee Company, all auxiliary organizations of the Flagler system.
Tatler: "Mr. Ingraham has rendered great service to the State of Florida previous to his association
with the Florida East Coast Railway. Having been a pioneer to the West Coast, coming here
twenty-three years ago, he was instrumental in interesting the builders of the South Florida Railroad,
and overcame great difficulties in securing its accomplishment.
His department is admirably managed, is thoroughly organized Mr. Louis Larson, his secretary,
attends to many of the details of the work in the general office in this city. Mr. J. D. MacGonigie is
also an employee of this office. Mr. Jno. B. Reilly is resident agent at Miami.
Mr. Ingraham has resided in this city for the past four years and during that time has identified himself
with every project for the good of the city. He is an active member of Trinity Parish and an earnest
worker for it.
He was also a director of the First National Bank of St. Augustine from 1893. He was chairman of
St. Johns County Bond Trustees and on July 7, 1915 was elected a member of the first City
Commission of St. Augustine and was chosen chairman and mayor on the same date and by
reelection continued as mayor until January 21, 1920.
He was a member (and President) of the St. Augustine Country Club, St. Augustine Yacht Club, the
Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, the Seminole Club of Jacksonville, the Gilbert Bar Yacht Club, the
Osceola Club of St. Augustine, and the Loyal Order of Moose. He was a member of Trinity
The Ingrahams had three children, one of whom died in infancy. Their son, James Draper Ingram,
became sales agent of the Florida East Coast Railway. Daughter Kathleen Maria married George W.
The Land Department was a part of the Florida East Coast Railway with headquarters in St.
Augustine. The purpose of the department was to bring settlers to Florida. In 1897, the company had
four hundred thousand acres of land to develop in the counties the railway went through.
Ingraham was an active pallbearer at Henry Flagler's funeral and received $20,000 in the will.
Mayor of St. Augustine
James Ingraham served as Mayor of St. Augustine from 1915 til 1920. He was the first mayor of St.
Augustine under the commission form of government. He served for three terms. The first term
included Henry W. Davis and Robert P. Kettle as commissioners. E. Noble Calhous was named
City Attorney. Obe P. Goode was the City Judge appointed by the commissioners. Eugene Masters
was the City Manager and Joseph T. Pacetti was treasurer and tax collector. U. G. Quigley was
appointed chief of police.Laurence Pomar continued as city clerk. The city manager appointed the
city treasurer and chief of police. James Ingraham coined the new government: "A government of the
people, for the people and by the people."
He also served as president of the St. Augustine Board of Trade and was vice president of the Frist
National Bank of St. Augustine. He was chairman of St. Johns county bond trustees. He belonged to
the St. Augustine Country Club (he was president), the St. Augustine Yacht Club (trustee), the
Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, the Seminole Club of Jacksonville, the gilbert Bar Yacht Club and the
Loyal Order of the Moose.
James Ingraham died on October 25, 1924 in Atlanta ,Georgia from pneumonia. His body was
returned to St. Augustine on October 24, 1924. His funeral service was held at Trinity Episcopal
Church.with Rev. L. Fitz-James Hendry presiding. The flag at City hall was set a half-mast. The
pallbearers were F. E. Davies, S. C. McDaniel, Lloyd Clark, H. S. McLendon, T. B. Bennett,
Merrill Wolfe, Charles, Brumley and Frank Pepper. Included in the honorary pallbearers were W. R.
Kenan, Wh. H. Beardsley, L. C. Haines, Scott M. Loftin, John T. Dismukes, Dr. Andrew Anderson,
W. W. Dewhurst, Eugene Masters, S.O. Chase, J. C. Chase, and Judge Couper Gibbs. He is buried
in Evergreen Cemetery.
In 1926 a 13 story building in downtown Miami was named in memory of James Ingraham by the
Model Land Company. The Ingraham Building was started in 1926 designed by Schultze & Weaver
the designers of the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, the Breakers in Palm Beach and the Biltmore
Hotel in Los Angeles and built by Turner Construction Co. H. G. Balcom was the structural engineer.
The building is an example of Second Renaissance Revival style. It was added to the U. S. National
Register of Historic Places on January 4, 1989.
* * *
From the 1895 Tatler
Mr. James E. Ingraham, commissioner of lands for the East Coast Canal Company and the
Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Indian River railroad, has completed and issued an exceedingly
readable book, giving the statics of the four counties along the east coast --- St. Johns, Volusia,
Brevard and Dade, showing the crops that adapted to them, information about the public schools,
health statistics and the death rate, and the lands, giving price and climatic conditions. Mr. Ingraham
published valuable letters from actual settlers who give their experience for the benefit of prospective
settlers. Among the crops adapted to St. Johns county, judging from the letters, are vegetables of all
kinds, onions and potatoes being especially profitable; strawberries that ripen from February to June
and longer when sheltered from the sun; sugar cane, grapes, rice in special places, grass, Bermuda
and Guinea grass and Alfalfa clover. Cattle may be bred at slight cost. Game is abundant; fishing and
the land readily cultivated and to be purchased at reasonable prices. ....
Mr. Ingraham also prints a report from the United States Agricultural Bureau showing that pecan
trees may be grown almost without cultivation and made profitable in a few years; that those grown in
the State are free from worms. There is also much valuable information about the use of fertilizers,
handling the crop cost of clearing the ground and the soil best adapted to certain crops. The book is
to be sent to any address on application.
His son James Draper Ingram was a passenger agent for the Florida East Coast Railway.
Palmetto Root Products (St. Augustine Evening Record, October 22, 1903)
In the office of J. E. Ingraham are samples of the product of the new factory at Port Orange, which
has been erected for the purpose of utilizing the saw palmetto. Among them is a bundle of fiber which
somewhat resembles excelator except that it is of an exceedingly tough nature. It can be used for
mattresses or for bedding for horses, and for this latter purpose can be used over and over again as it
is practically undestructible. All that is necessary is to wash it and it is ready for use again. It is also
well adapted for making brushes etc. One of the most remarkable products, however, in Mr.
Ingrahams office is a fine quality of paper pulp made from the palmetto root. This is destined to have
an enormous effect on the paper making industry of which Florida will one day be the center of
Tannic acid is also extracted from the root.
The samples were sent by Prof. James Graham, who has charge of the big plant.
Eucalyptus Trees for Profit (The Florida East Coast Railway Homeseeker 1910)
At present the windbreaks are made by planting Australian pine trees, bananas, lemon or lime trees,
oleanders, bamboo, coconut palms and cabbage palmettos. It is desirable, however, that some tree
should be used for windbreaks that would have a commercial value by being planted in large tracts as
well as to be used to form a wind barrier.
Realizing the importance of this question Mr. J. E. Ingraham, vice-president of the Florida East Coast
Railway, last summer made an investigation regarding the eucalyptus tree and from the information
obtained he became convinced that the eucalyptus, or certain species of this tree, would do well on
our Florida soils, and requested Mr. W. L. Bragg, of West Palm Beach to make a test of the matter
by having planted a small tract of land near that city.
In August of last year a tract of three acres was set out with six varieties of eucalyptus from potted
plants grown at the Royal Poinciana gardens.
A location was selected at Winter Gardens, on the Okeechobee road, four miles west of West Palm
Beach. The ground was prepared by clearing away all the scrub and palmettos. Thoroughly plowed
and harrowed with a disk harrow, and the trees then set out eight feet apart in rows.
The young plants were about the size of a lead pencil and twelve to twenty inches n height when
planted. They have received no cultivation or fertilizer up to this time, being practically abandoned.
Last week on making a trip to the plantation Mr. Ingraham was astonished at the growth made by the
trees, most of which were from one to one and a quarter inches in diameter at the base and from
three to four feet high.
Realizing what an important thing it would be to bring these trees to a merchantable size it was
immediately decided to cultivate the grove, use a small amount of fertilizer and dig a drainage ditch
around the outer edge.
The success of this eucalyptus plantation will mean a great deal to this section of the State, as it will
demonstrate the fact that the eucalyptus tree will grow and do well here. This will not only determine
a tree to be used for a windbreak but large areas can be planted at a profit.
The eucalyptus is one of the most valuable woods grown and a plantation once established will
reforest itself as its sprouts rankly after each cutting It will take about twelve years to grow to a
merchantable size and a grove once established will be a big income producer.
Plan Ingram Highway to Cape (St. Augustine Evening Record, Feb 22, 1915)
Paved Road from Miami to Cape Sable is Proposed
Important Road is Named after James S. Ingraham of St. Augustine -- Will Develop a Fertile
Miami Fla. Feb 22 - Petitions asking that a special road and bridge tax district be created in that part
of Dade county from Homestead south for the issuance of $200,000 in bonds to build the Ingraham
Returned from Interesting Trip (St. Augustine Evening Record, Nov 28, 1917)
General Sales Manager James D. Ingraham of the Model Land Company has just returned from a
very interesting automobile and boat trip as far south as Cape Sable. In company with Mr. and Mrs.
Charles Brumley, Mrs. Brumley's sister, Miss Emma Eichner and J. B. MacDonald, of West Palm
Beach, president of the Consolidated Realty Company he visited Chuluota, Okeechobee and
important points along the lower East Coast to Homestead. The highway to Cape Sable has not yet
been completed so the party was therefore forced to go by rail to one of the lower Florida keys
crossing Florida Bay to Cape Sable. Mr. Ingraham reports that thousands of settlers are pouring into
the East Coast county and that all the towns are enjoying wonderful prosperity, and remarkable
growth and development. He was in Miami Tuesday during the opening session of the Deeper
|James Ingraham at Flagler Statue dedication at Railway station in
St. Augustine. Statue now in front of Flagler College.
|James Ingraham as a young man