Born: May 9, 1868, New Bedford, Massachusetts
Died: October 29, 1941, Tampa, Florida
First Term: June 8 1900 - June 4, 1902
Second Term: June 5, 1908 - June 6, 1910
Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Francis Wing moved to Tampa in 1889, where he opened a furniture store and laundry. Later on, he became a successful builder and real estate developer. Wing married Annie Hale in 1892 and, in the following year, built her a house on North Morgan Street where the couple raised their children. Wing also constructed the notable Puritan Hotel in Tampa. He was a board member of several local businesses.
Politically active, Wing served two years on the City Council from June of 1898 until June of 1900. Immediately following this, he was elected as the 33rd Mayor of Tampa. During Wing's first administration, Tampa enjoyed a steady population growth due, in large part, to the economic prosperity from the cigar industry in Ybor City and the Port of Tampa. This growth also placed a strain on public works and services that were not equipped to handle the large influx of new residents to the city. Tampa was also in dire need of more medical facilities, places of entertainment, and a major expansion of public works to accommodate the growing population. As part of his work in expanding the City of Tampa's services, Mayor Wing appointed an auditor, City Attorney, City Health Officer, and other officials to head several key departments such as the Department of Sanitation.
Wing was elected as Tampa's 37th Mayor and returned to office on June 5, 1908. During his second term, Mayor Wing was instrumental in the construction of the Gordon Keller Hospital, which was named for former City Treasurer Gordon Keller. Mayor Wing also increased the police, fire, and other departments. He initiated an expansion in public works projects such as sewers and water drainage. Mayor Wing also made substantial improvements to the Port of Tampa and, in 1910, the U.S. Congress appropriated $1,750,000 to complete the development of the port.
After his second term as mayor, Wing retired from politics and devoted himself to business, family, and social activities, including the Elks Club. Francis Lyman Wing died in Tampa on October 29, 1941.
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 6, 1899 - March 7, 1905 Roll # 3
March 11, 1905 - December 7, 1910 Roll # 4