Local History Archives Research Assistance

  • People on Boynton beach.

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.


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:

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  


1921-1922 Horace B. Murray, Mayor   Mayor

1923-1925 Charles Frederick Knuth, Mayor There were two attempts to recall Mayor Knuth, one election in October 1924, and a recall election in October 1925, which was successful. Mayor

1925-1928 R.O. Myers, Mayor Elected in special recall election, October 1925. Mayor

1929-1931 H.T. Holloway, Mayor April 1929-April 1932; Holloway did not seek reelection, instead seeking to be sheriff of PBC Mayor

1932-1937 Henry Darius Stevens, Mayor Charged 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 Elected April 1937 to fill term of Stevens, then ran unopposed in April 1938. Mayor

1941-1944 Fred G. Benson, Mayor   Mayor

1944 -1945 William J. Daly, Mayor 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 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 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 The new charter, adopted October 1947, had some confusing language about who was to be Mayor, 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   Mayor

1948-1954 Fred Leroy Purinton, Mayor Elected 7 Dec 1948, died in office 12 May 1954 Mayor

1954 Howard Hood, Mayor Vice-Mayor under Purinton, became Mayor at his death Mayor

1954-1955 Alva E. Shook, Mayor Elected 17 May 1954 Mayor

1956 C. Stanley Weaver, Mayor Elected to commission in Dec 1955, named Mayor at first meeting of 1956, a pattern held for at least until 1968. Mayor

1957 Mott H. Partin, Mayor   Mayor

1958 L.S. Chadwell, Mayor   Mayor

1959 James J. Mahoney, Mayor Jan 1959 on a "clean up city hall" campaign. Mayor

1960 Harvey Oyer, Jr., Mayor   Mayor

1961 John A. Archie, Mayor   Mayor

1962 J. Willard Pipes, Mayor Jan 1962. Resigned 6 Aug 1962 due to infighting in council. Mayor

1962 Thomas A. Summers, Acting Mayor Took over after Pipes' resignation Aug 1962. Mayor

1963 John A. Archie, Mayor Jan 1963 Mayor

1964 J. Allison Banks, Mayor Jan 1964. Amendment to charter will change election process - the council will no longer select the Mayor, but the highest vote receiver will become vice Mayor and then the next Mayor Mayor

1965 James J. Mahoney, Mayor   Mayor

1966 Walter A. Madsen, Mayor   Mayor

1967 Frank McCoy, Jr., Mayor Resigned suddenly 8 March 1967. Mayor

1967-1968 Michael V. Michael, Mayor Took over March 1967, after McCoy's resignation, then elected in special election. Mayor

1969 Vincent J. Gallo, Sr., Mayor   Mayor

1970 Thomas A. Summers, Mayor   Mayor

1971 Forrest L. Wallace, Mayor   Mayor

1972 Robert B. Effron, Mayor   Mayor

1973 Emily M. Jackson, Mayor   Mayor

1974 Joe De Long, Mayor   Mayor

1975 David Roberts, Mayor   Mayor

1976 Joe De Long, Mayor   Mayor

1977 Joseph F. Zack, Mayor   Mayor

1978 Emily M. Jackson, Mayor   Mayor

1979 Edward F. Harmening, Mayor   Mayor

1980 Betty Riscoe, Mayor Resigned July 1980 due to personal problems. Mayor

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

1982 Walter M. Trauger, Mayor April 1982. Mayor

1983-1984 Jim Warnke, Mayor   Mayor

1988 Nick Cassandra, Mayor Stepped down July 1988 to run for the county commission seat. Mayor

1988 Ezell Hester, Jr., Acting Mayor Became Acting Mayor July 1988 when Cassandra stepped down until 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 Elected Sept 1988 as interm Mayor. Runoff election 28 March 1989, lost to Moore Mayor

1989-1991 Gene Moore, Mayor   Mayor

1991-1993 Arline Weiner, Mayor   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   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