Matthew Ellison Haynsworth - 18th Mayor Of Tampa

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Born: January 12, 1837, South Carolina

Died: November 9, 1917, Brooksville, Florida

Term: February 19, 1881 - March 22, 1881 (Acting Mayor)

Matthew Ellison Haynsworth was born on January 12, 1837 in Sumter County, South Carolina. He worked as a carpenter, and his father was a merchant. At the onset of the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in Company D, 2nd South Carolina Infantry Regiment. After completing a one year enlistment in Virginia, Haynsworth reenlisted in a newly formed artillery battery, and he was assigned to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia commanded by General Robert E. Lee. Along with his two brothers, Haynsworth served in some of the most brutal battles of the war. He was promoted to sergeant and served at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pickett's Charge. After the war ended, he returned to South Carolina and then moved to Hernando County, Florida.                                                        

Around 1873, Matthew Ellison Haynsworth arrived in Tampa and established a business as a tinsmith and coppersmith. He was elected to Tampa's Town Council on August 14, 1880, and three days later, was selected to serve as Council President. Because of this position, when Henry Clarke Ferris resigned, Haynsworth became Acting Mayor. He served in this position for less than a month. A special election was held on March 22, 1881, and George Bascom Sparkman was elected as Tampa's 19th Mayor. Following this, Haynsworth returned to his position as Council President until his term ended on August 12, 1881.

Haynsworth remained in Tampa until the early 1890's when he returned to Hernando County. After the death of his wife, he lived with his daughter, Harriet, and her husband. He died in Brooksville on November, 9, 1917.

Sources for this Biographical Sketch:

By: W Lloyd Harris, Bartow, FL

United States Census: 1850, 1860 Sumter County, South Carolina; 1870, 1900, 1910 Hernando County, Florida; 1880 Hillsborough County, Florida.

Tampa Journal newspaper, Tampa, Florida. (Issues dated): 23 Jun 1887; 10 Jan 1889; 1 Aug 1889; 10 Oct 1889; Feb 1890; 17 Mar 1890

Sunland Tribune newspaper, Tampa, Florida. (Issues dated): 6 Jan 1877; 20 May 1877; 23 Mar 1878; 4 Jan 1879; 9 Sep 1880

Dedmont, Glenn. Southern Bronze, Palmetto Books, Columbia, SC. 1993

Haynsworth-Mears misc family files. Harris, W.L., Bartow, Florida

City of Tampa, Florida; City Clerk, Information Resources, previous mayors: Haynsworth, Matthew E. - 18th Mayor of Tampa biography sources:

Department of Special Collections, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Tampa Council Minutes, City of Tampa Archives, Tampa, FL  January 1, 1857 - October 2, 1891 Microfilm Roll # 1

Find a Grave web site. Memorial #10988143, Rev. Matthew E. Haynsworth