When Pennsylvanian James Gettis arrived in Tampa in 1848, he doubled the local lawyer population. Gettis, a member of the controversial "Know Nothing" party, was active and vocal in politics. He was city councilman, a state representative and a judge, as well as tireless promoter of Tampa's development. Gettis, along with other influential locals, made several abortive attempts to establish rail service to the city in the years before the Civil War.
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