Local History Archives Research Assistance

  • Girl Scouts group photo

Use of Archives

Please prearrange an appointment with the archivist if you intend to visit the archive in person. Use of the material will require filling out a registration form, and all patrons are monitored and assisted. No food or drink is allowed.

Reproductions

Images created with hand-held cameras or cell-phones are allowed. If you desire a higher quality image, we can provide it. If this is for personal use, we can deliver a digital image. Use in publications may involve a fee. We do not offer reproduction services.

We will ask you to fill out a form with contact information and outlining some Terms of Use:

  • Permission is for one-time, one-project use only
  • Photographs may be cropped to suit design and layout, but they may not be altered, colorized, or drawn upon without prior written agreement.
  • Images are not to be resold without prior written agreement.
  • Credit must be given to the Boynton Beach City Library with the credit line “From the Collection of the Boynton Beach City Library” and to the creator of the original work, if known. Credit must appear on or below the image, or in a designated credit section. 
  • Boynton Beach City Library reserves the right to decline permission to requestors who have not complied with these conditions or whose use is deemed inappropriate. 
  • Boynton Beach City Library assumes no responsibility for infraction of copyright laws, invasion of privacy or any other improper or illegal use that may arise from reproduction of any collection materials. Requestor assumes full and sole responsibility for the use of the duplication and shall pay and indemnify and hold Boynton Beach City Library or the City of Boynton Beach and its agents harmless from and against all claims, damages, losses, costs, expenses, and liabilities of every kind (including attorneys' fees) arising out of the requestor's use, or out of the requestor's breach or alleged breach of the use or license agreement. 
  • In some cases, the Boynton Beach City Library will request that a copy of the finished product be donated to our collections.
     

Our understanding of the history of Boynton Beach ever expands as we uncover an increasing number of stories and records of the many peoples who lived in the area. 

Good introductory sources available online include:

 

 

History of Boynton Beach. 

Collection A0015 – History of Boynton Beach Small Manuscript Collection, Folder 4.  Title page states: "Donated by Mr. & Mrs. Andrew N. Houston of the Boynton Beach Historical Society. Original in the Boynton file of the Palm Beach Historical Society." Includes:

  • Description of Boynton (unknown date) 1 page; 
  • "Settlement of Boynton, Florida as told by H.B. Murray, first settler" [Horace Bentley Murray (1886-1949)] 1 page. Noted as existing in HSPB Boynton file (GCB-Cities7-F6);
  • "Notes of the town of Boynton, Florida : Compiled from the Public Records of Dade and Palm Beach Counties, the Minutes of the Town and Interviews with Settlers" ending at year 1937. Unknown author, 24 pages.

"Memories of Boynton School 1896-1920" by Hazel Daugharty Houston, 1975.

Collection A0027 – Boynton Beach Elementary School Collection, Box 21, Folder 2:

Boynton Beach primary resources:

 

Primary resource materials available online:

 

Significant secondary resources available online:

 

General resources & More information

As a government agency, the City of Boynton Beach has wide access to its public records. Records involving land ownership, committee minutes, etc., are often available online.

One of the best places to start genealogical research is the U.S. Federal Government census. Taken every ten years since 1790, this data can tell you names, ages, occupations, and other various pieces of information. The National Archives offers an excellent description of how to access the U.S. Census online.  Remember, Boynton Beach City Library offers free access to ancestry.com and Fold3.com from inside the library.

The first U.S. Census taken for Boynton Beach was in 1900, with the town being included in the Fort Lauderdale, Dade County, Precinct 6 census. It included only 91 people; however, individuals living outside of the downtown area may not have been included here.

A large part of original Boynton Beach is located between Boynton Beach Blvd & Woolbright Road and U.S. 1 & I-95 is Range 43, Township 45, Section 28. Between U.S. 1 & the ocean is Section 27.

  • Florida Board of Trustees Land Document System (BTLDS) The BTLDS website provides access to the Florida Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund (TIITF) State Lands Records archived with the Division of State Lands in Tallahassee, Florida. Includes a clickable map for viewing original land patent applications.
  • Bureau of Land Management(BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records Provides access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1788 and the present. We also have images of survey plats and field notes, land status records, and control document index records.

 

Early Car Registrations 1905-1917

Available through the Florida Memory website, this collection contains Florida's first automobile registrations, which were recorded by the Florida Department of State between 1905 and 1917. Each registration, which was handwritten in a ledger, indicates the name and post office address of the registrant plus the manufacturer, style, horsepower and factory number of the vehicle. Each entry was dated and assigned a unique registration number, which was sent to the registrant on a certificate.

The Sanborn Map Company was a publisher of detailed maps of U.S. cities and towns in the 19th and 20th centuries. The maps were originally created to allow fire insurance companies to assess their total liability in urbanized areas of the United States. Since they contain detailed information about properties and individual buildings in approximately 12,000 U.S. cities and towns, Sanborn maps are invaluable for documenting changes in the built environment of American cities over many decades. (Wikipedia, retrieved 9/12/2019)

Sanborn Maps for the Boynton Beach  downtown exist for 1924 and 1940.

More Sanborn Maps of Florida towns are available through the Palm Beach County Library (including Boynton Beach) and University of Florida (not Boynton Beach)

 

Sanborn map 1924
Sanborn Map
1924, #1
Sanborn map 1924
Sanborn Map
1924 #2
Sanborn 1940
Sanborn Map
1940 #1
sanborn map 1940
Sanborn Map
1940 #2

Ascension Lutheran Church Memorial Garden Columbarium

Barton Memorial Park

Boynton Beach Memorial Park and Mausoleum

Eternal Light Memorial Gardens

Saint Joseph's Episcopal Church Columbarium

Sara Sims Memorial Cemetery

The Work Projects Administration (WPA) employed millions of mostly unskilled men in the 1930s. One of the many useful tasks they performed was to record historical documents.  These copies are now located in archives.

 

1920-1921 George Coon, Mayor George Edward Coon (1863-1934) was a pioneer settler of Jenson in 1892 as a pineapple grower. He moved to Boynton in 1910. George Coon

 


1921-1922 Horace B. Murray, Mayor Horace Bentley Murray (1867-1949), farmer and second mayor of Boynton, Florida (first elected) between 1921-1922. Mayor

1923-1925 Charles Frederick Knuth, Mayor Charles Frederick Knuth (1875-1934), developer, dairyman. There were two attempts to recall Mayor Knuth after attempting to build a new city hall adjacent to his own development and being arrested for organizing the destruction and movement of Ocean Blvd for the planned Mizner Mile. A recall election in October 1925 was successful. Mayor

1925-1928 Roy O. Myers, Mayor Roy Osbourne Myers (1890-1970) grocer and mayor between 1925-1928. Elected in special election, October 1925. Mayor

1929-1931 Wade Hampton Tillman Holloway, Mayor Wade Hampton Tillman Holloway (1883–1960) was owner of a dredging company and mayor April 1929-April 1932; Holloway did not seek reelection, and instead pursued an unsuccessful bid to be sheriff of PBC.  Mayor

1932-1937 Henry Darius Stevens, Mayor Charged in 1933 with attempting to influence election by offering the job of police chief to several people (four testified), however, he was acquitted in October. Ran unopposed in 1935 for a second three year term. Resigned early to open a business in Lake Worth, February 1937. no photo available

1937-1941 Marcus Aechylus "M.A" Weaver, Mayor Marcus Aechylus Weaver (1887-1960), dairyman was elected April 1937 to fill term of Stevens, then ran unopposed in April 1938. Mayor

1941-1944 Fred G. Benson, Mayor Fred Gust Benson (1898–1979) farmer. Mayor

1944 -1945 William J. Daly, Mayor William J. Daly (1886-1946), construction engineer and mayor between 1944-1945. Elected in April 1944 for a three year term; tendered his resignation early due to ill health, March 1946. Mayor

1946-1947 Paul Mercer, Mayor Paul Mercer (1902–1970) ran with no opposition in April 1946 after Daly resigned. Defeated in May 1947, then the results were thrown out due to fraudulent voting, and lost special election. Mayor

1947-1948 Fred Leroy Purinton, Mayor

Fred Leroy Purinton (1888-1954) was elected mayor in April 1947. However, after accusations of improper voting, Purinton refused to take office until another election was held, which he also won.

Elected April 1947 287 to 281 votes. After accusations of improper voting, Purinton refused to take office until new election could be taken. On June 10, he was elected 386 to 316.

Mayor

1948 Bernard V. Tattersall, Mayor Bernard V. Tattersall (1897-1948) retired bond dealer, director of Boynton Beach State Bank (1947) and mayor in 1948.  A new charter, adopted October 1947, had some confusing language about who was to be Mayor after the January 1948 election, and Purington sued for a decision. The court found that Tattersall's claim was the valid one on 10 April 1948, then Tattersall died in office in 1 Nov 1948. Mayor

1948 W. Turner Woolbright Sr., Acting Mayor

William Turner “Sam” Woolbright (1908-1994) electrical contractor.

Mayor

1948-1954 Fred Leroy Purinton, Mayor Fred Leroy Purinton (1888-1954). The election of January 1948 resulted in a lawsuit to settle who was mayor. The town charter had been changed in October 1947, and there was some contention. The suit in April 1948 declared B.V. Tattersall the new mayor, who then died in office in November. Purinton was elected in December 1948. He died in office in 1954. Mayor

1954 Howard Hood, Mayor C. Howard Hood (1905-1981)      Vice-Mayor under Purinton, became acting mayor at Purinton's death in office. Also president of the Boynton Beach Rotary Club (1956). Mayor

1954-1955 Alva E. Shook, Mayor Alva Earl Shook (1907-2000), contractor, was mayor of Boynton Beach between 1954-1955. Mayor

1956 C. Stanley Weaver, Mayor Charles Stanley Weaver (1922-2010), farmer, was mayor of Boynton Beach Florida in 1956. Mayor

1957 Mott H. Partin, Mayor Mott Hall Partin (1892-1960) Mott Hall Partin (1892-1960) served as Chief of Police for Boynton Beach Florida from 1932 to 1942, doubling as the water superintendant. In 1943 became a deputy sheriff of Palm Beach County. Mayor

1958 L.S. Chadwell, Mayor Leonard Shirley Chadwell (1887-1965) retired on disability from the U.S. Army after WWI. He moved to Boynton Beach from San Antonio, Texas in 1952 after becoming the second husband of Bertha May Daugharty Williams Chadwell (1887-1982). He served as mayor of Boynton Beach, Florida in 1958. Mayor

1959 James J. Mahoney, Mayor James J. Mahoney, realtor, served as mayor of Boynton Beach, Florida in 1959 and 1965. Mayor

1960 Harvey Oyer, Jr., Mayor Harvey Eugene Oyer, Jr. (1926-2010), local businessman, served as mayor of Boynton Beach, Florida in 1960. Mayor

1961 John A. Archie, Mayor Born John Leonard Arcidiano (1927-2005) was mayor of Boynton Beach Florida in 1961 and 1963. Unsuccessfully ran for state house in 1965. Moved to Boynton in 1954, opened a plumbing business. He was very active in the Boynton Beach Jaycees, Kiwanis Club, and the Circus Saints and Sinners Club. Mayor

1962 J. Willard Pipes, Mayor Jay Willard Pipes (1893-1979) retired as Vice President of Pepsi-Cola, and moved to Boynton Beach in c. 1948 with wife Jean Rider Pipes (1913-1999). They owned three commercial fishing boats in Boynton Beach. He was elected mayor in January 1962, resigned August 1962. Mayor

1962 Thomas A. Summers, Acting Mayor Thomas A. "Al" Summers (1907-1983), electrical contractor, became mayor when he took over after Pipes' resignation in August 1962. Moved to Citra, Florida in 1976. Mayor

1963 John A. Archie, Mayor Born John Leonard Arcidiano (1927-2005) was mayor of Boynton Beach Florida in 1961 and 1963. Unsuccessfully ran for state house in 1965. Moved to Boynton in 1954, opened a plumbing business. He was very active in the Boynton Beach Jaycees, Kiwanis Club, and the Circus Saints and Sinners Club. Mayor

1964 J. Allison Banks, Mayor James Allison Banks (1908-1993) was a farmer in Pompano Beach, then moved to Boynton in about 1958. He served for many years on the Boynton Beach City Council and was mayor in 1964. In 1967, at the age of 59, he and his wife Mary Sue started a new career as missionaries with the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board and lived in Israel, Austria, India, and Yemen. He died in 1993 in Winter Haven. At this time, an amendment to the city charter changed election process - the council will no longer select the Mayor, but the highest vote receiver would become Vice Mayor and then serve as the next Mayor Mayor

1965 James J. Mahoney, Mayor   Mayor

1966 Walter A. Madsen, Mayor Walter Arthur Otto Madsen (1890-1984) retired to Boynton Beach in 1956 and served as mayor in 1966. The Walter Madsen Senior Center was named in his honor. Mayor

1967 Frank McCoy, Jr., Mayor Frank McCoy Jr., telephone repairman for Bell South, became a city council member in 1965, as a "Goldwater Conservative." In January 1967 he became mayor, but resigned on 8 March 1967 for personal reasons. He later ran for county commissioner (1970) as a Democrat. Mayor

1967-1968 Michael V. Michael, Mayor Michael V. Michael (1936-2018), president of Michael's Nursery Inc., served as mayor 1967-1968. After 64 days in office as city councilmember, he assumed the post of mayor after Frank McCoy Jr. resigned suddenly on 8 March 1967. He served as a council member until 1971. Mayor

1969 Vincent J. Gallo, Sr., Mayor Vincent J. Gallo, owner of insurance company in Boynton Beach, became mayor in 1969. He was accused of violating the state "Standards of Conduct Law" for doing private business with Caldos, the developers of Leisureville while voting for zoning requests, along with council members Leonard Nylund and Gil Collins. Mayor

1970 Thomas A. Summers, Mayor Thomas A. "Al" Summers (1907-1983), electrical contractor, became mayor when he took over after Pipes' resignation in August 1962. Moved to Citra, Florida in 1976. Mayor

1971 Forest L. Wallace, Mayor Forest L. "Fess" Wallace was mayor in 1971, and later served as councilmember 1972-1974. He was also Dean of boys at Golfview Junior High in West Palm Beach in 1971. Mayor

1972 Robert B. Effron, Mayor Robert B. Effron (1926-2008) Served as mayor in 1972. He later owned a hardware store in St. Cloud, Florida. Mayor

1973 Emily M. Jackson, Mayor Emily McCloud Jackson (1907-1992) was the first female mayor of Boynton Beach. Moved to Boynton Beach in 1951 after a career in teaching in Connecticut. Served on the city council from 1970-1973 and 1975-1978 as mayor in 1973 and 1978. She moved to Palm Beach Gardens in 1980 and then to Jupiter in 1988. Mayor

1974 Joe DeLong, Mayor Joe DeLong (1904-1986) was elected mayor in 1974 and 1976. Originally from Jersey City, DeLong retired to Hileah, Florida in 1950. He was mayor of Boca Raton (elected 1959 and 1963). DeLong moved to Boynton Beach in 1970. Mayor

1975 David Roberts, Mayor David Roberts (1907-1993), retired insurance executive, moved to Boynton Beach in 1970 was mayor in 1975. Photo published in the Palm Beach Post 11 Sept 1993. Mayor

1976 Joe De Long, Mayor Joe DeLong (1904-1986) was elected mayor in 1974 and 1976. Originally from Jersey City, DeLong retired to Hileah, Florida in 1950. He was mayor of Boca Raton (elected 1959 and 1963). DeLong moved to Boynton Beach in 1970. Mayor

1977 Joseph F. Zack, Mayor Joseph F. Zack (1910-1998) was a school superintendent in Ohio and mayor of Boynton Beach in 1977. Mayor

1978 Emily M. Jackson, Mayor Emily McCloud Jackson (1907-1992) was the first female mayor of Boynton Beach. Moved to Boynton Beach in 1951 after a career in teaching in Connecticut. Served on the city council from 1970-1973 and 1975-1978 as mayor in 1973 and 1978. She moved to Palm Beach Gardens in 1980 and then to Jupiter in 1988. Mayor

1979 Edward F. Harmening, Mayor   Mayor

1980 Betty Riscoe, Mayor Betty Riscoe (b. 1934), pharmacy technician, was elected mayor in January 1980; she resigned July 1980 due to personal issues. Mayor

1981 Edward F. Harmening, Mayor Appointed in July 1980 after Riscoe resigned. Mayor

1982 Walter M. Trauger, Mayor Walter "Marty" Trauger (1915-1993) former Army colonel and teacher at Palm Beach Atlantic College, was mayor in 1982. Mayor

1983-1984 Jim Warnke, Mayor James Warnke (1921-2004), mayor in 1983-1984. Mayor

1985 Carl E. Zimmerman, Mayor

Carl E. Zimmerman (1915-2005), former schoolteacher, ran unopposed in 1985 for mayor.

In January 1985, voters began to vote directly for the position of mayor, who would serve for two years. Previously, the council member with the most votes became vice-mayor for one year and mayor the next.

zimmerman

 


1986-1988 Nick Cassandra, Mayor Nicholas Cassandra (1928-2007) was mayor from 1986-1988, stepped down July 1988 to run for a county commission seat. Mayor

1988 Ezell Hester, Jr., Acting Mayor Ezell Hester Jr. (1931-1989) worked 31 years as an educator, including 13 years teaching mathematics at Congress Middle School. Hester was the first African-American to run for City Council (1966). He became Acting Mayor in July 1988 when Nick Cassandra stepped down, until the 6 Sept 1988 election. In 1988, a 2 term limit was introduced, so Hester was not able to run for Mayor. Mayor

1988-1989 Ralph Marchese, Mayor (1919-2007) Elected Sept 1988 as interm Mayor. Runoff election 28 March 1989, lost to Moore Mayor

1989-1991 Gene Moore, Mayor Gene Moore (b. 1929) , lawyer, was mayor 1989-1991. He was also city attorney 1968-1972 and 1977-1978. Mayor

1991-1993 Arline Weiner, Mayor Arline Weiner (b. 1933), retired legal secretary, was mayor 1991-1993. Mayor

1993-1995 Edward F. Harmening, Mayor Elected March 1993. Mayor

1995-1999 Jerry Taylor, Mayor 1997 ran unopposed for second term Mayor

1999-2003 Gerald Broening, Mayor Gerald Broening (b. 1935) was mayor 1999-2003. He was a Retired Air Force officer and aerospace company executive; former director of communications with Pratt & Whitney. Mayor

2003-2010 Jerry Taylor, Mayor   Mayor

2010-2012 Jose Rodriguez, Mayor Suspended in January 2012 Mayor

2012 Woodrow Hay, Acting Mayor Interim Mayor after Mayor Rodriguez suspended. Mayor

2013-2016 Jerry Taylor, Mayor Elected March 2013 Mayor

2016-present Steven B. Grant, Mayor Elected March 2016 Mayor

Click here to read about the incorporation of the town of Boynton, 14 April 1920, from Ordinance Book #1