Born: April 29, 1843, Wilhelmsbruck, Germany
Died: December 3, 1909, Tampa, Florida
First Term: August 13, 1886 - July 15, 1887
Second Term: March 8, 1888 - March 6, 1889
Third Term: March 5, 1890 - March 4, 1891
Fourth Term: March 4, 1892 - March 10, 1893
Born in Wilhelmsbruck, Germany, Herman Glogowski immigrated to the United States in 1867 where he spent about fifteen years working in New York City's garment industry. In late 1882, he moved to Gainesville, Florida and, in the summer of 1883, he married Bertha Brown. The couple had three children: Nat, Bernie, and Tillie. The following year they moved to Tampa where Glogowski opened a men's clothing store on Washington Street. A strong believer in civic duty, he became involved in local politics and, on August 13 1886, he was the first Jewish person to be elected as Tampa's mayor.
On February 3, 1887, Mayor Glogowski and the City Council met with Colonel James E. Ingraham who represented the South Florida Railroad Company to discuss plans for the construction of a bridge across the Hillsborough River and a hotel on the opposite bank. Keenly aware of the economic benefits to Tampa of a bridge and major hotel as well as the railroad, the proposal was approved by North Tampa's Town. Council
On the strength of these proposals, Mayor Glogowski successfully lead a coalition of City Council members and many Tampa residents to lobby the Florida Legislature to incorporate Tampa as a City. This incorporation was essential to obtain the necessary funds to improve water and sewage systems, police and fire departments, and other public works. Several months later, on July 15, 1887, the Florida Legislature passed an act that officially incorporated the City of Tampa. It was also Mayor Glogowski's last day until his re-election on March 8, 1888.
During his second term, Mayor Glogowski focused on improving infrastructure. Tampa received its waterworks, public transportation, sewers, paved streets, and electric lights during this time. On April 23, 1888, J.A. Wood, a New York Architect, approached Mayor Glogowski and the City Council with a proposal to build a hotel for Henry B. Plant. This was approved, and on July 26, 1888, Mayor Glogowski laid the cornerstone of the Tampa Bay Hotel. On April 23, 1888, J.A. Wood, a New York Architect, approached Mayor Glogowski and the City Council with a proposal to build a hotel for Henry B. Plant. This was approved, and with it came the construction of a bridge crossing the river at Lafayette Street. The bridge greatly improved access between the east and west sides of the river. On July 26, 1888, Mayor Glogowski laid the cornerstone of the Tampa Bay Hotel. The subsequent construction of this local landmark brought thousands of jobs to Tampa.
Herman Glogowski began his third term on March 5, 1890. At that time, over half of Tampa’s inhabitants were immigrants, primarily from Spain, Italy and Cuba. Many of them worked in the cigar industry, which produced approximately 88 million cigars every year. In March of 1890, Mayor Glogowski protected workers in the cigar factories by opposing a proposed tariff bill that would tax tobacco. He joined a delegation that traveled to the nation’s capital to protest the bill. The delegation included members of Tampa’s Board of Trade, as well as members of the City Council. They were successful in winning an exemption for tobacco.
Herman Glogowski is the only person to serve four non-consecutive terms as Tampa's mayor. He was an active member of the Board of Trade, and he was the first president of Tampa’s German-American Club. Glogowski was also a founding member of Schaarai Zedek, Tampa’s first synagogue. He laid the cornerstone for its first temple in 1899. He died on December 3, 1909, in a tragic accident when his carriage collided with a truck in Ybor City.
Sources for this Biographical Sketch:
Covington, Dr. James W. and Wavering, Debbie Lee, "The Mayors of Tampa: A Brief Administrative History," Tampa, FL: University of Tampa, 1987.
Grismer, Karl H., Tampa: A History of the City and the Tampa Bay Region of Florida, St. Petersburg Printing Company, FL, 1950.
Robinson, Ernest L., History of Hillsborough County, Florida: Narrative and Biographical, The Record Company, St. Augustine, FL, 1928.
Tampa Council Minutes, City of Tampa Archives, Tampa, FL
January 1, 1857 - October 2, 1891 Microfilm Roll # 1
October 19, 1891 - December 28, 1899 Roll # 2