Born near Jaspar, Florida, John P. Wall served as a Confederate Army surgeon during the Civil War. He moved to Tampa in 1869 and, shortly thereafter, lost his wife and infant daughter to yellow fever. This began Wall's lifelong campaign to find the cause of the disease. He was one of the first medical researchers to surmise - correctly - that the bite of the aedes aegypti mosquito was the disease vector, a conclusion that was largely ignored at the time. Wall served as Tampa mayor, editor of The Sunland Tribune newspaper, President of the Florida Medical Association, a State Representative, and founded both the Tampa Board of Trade and the Florida Board of Health.