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Incorporation - Creation of Town of Sebastian in December 1924 by Sally Maio, Former City Clerk

1924


On October 29, 1924 a meeting was advertised to be held on December 8, 1924 at 7:30 p.m. for registered voters of St. Lucie County (which Sebastian was a part of at that time), residing in the proposed corporate limits of the Town of Sebastian (metes and bounds description was included in the advertisement), for the purpose of organizing a municipal government within the proposed corporate limits to incorporate under the provisions of Section 1827 of the Revised Statutes of the State of Florida, to select a corporate name and to choose and select officers for said proposed municipal government.


The December 8, 1924 meeting was held and a certified copy of the list of registered voters residing in the proposed corporate limits duly certified by Mrs. Ada L. Tyrie, Supervisor of Elections for St. Lucie County was presented showing a total of 105 registered voters. The meeting was called to order and a roll call was conducted of the 82 people present of the 105 registered voters and the result showed that more than two-thirds and not less than 25 in number were present and participating in the meeting and it was then moved and carried by a vote of more than a majority of those present that the proposed corporate limits set out in the advertisement shall be incorporated, followed by another vote the new municipal corporation shall be "Town of Sebastian" with the seal being round with the word SEAL in the center and the words ''Town of Sebastian, Florida" surrounding the word "Seal", and that the Town Council of said Town of Sebastian shall consist of five Alderman. 


Nominations were made for office of Mayor, five Alderman, a Clerk and Marshal and following secret ballot of the electors present, the following were elected by majority.


T.B. Hicks - Mayor

M.M. Miller -Alderman

A.G. Roberts -Alderman

C.L. Beugnot -Alderman

Charles W. Sembler -Alderman

H. M. Sallee -Alderman

LO. Baughman - Clerk

G.F. Vickers - Marshall


On December 16, 1924 the newly elected town council conducted its first meeting and adopted Resolution No. 1, appointing the Nisele and Vocelle law firm as town attorneys with a retainer fee of $200 per year, that the Town Clerk will be Treasurer and Tax Assessor, the Marshall shall be Tax Collector, the Mayor and Council shall receive $1 per year, regular meetings shall be held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at 7:30 pm, annual elections shall be the 2nd Monday of December and vacancies of Clerk and Marshall shall be filled by Mayor appointment.


Council then went on to adopt Ordinance 1 providing for the peace and good order of the Town.

December 22, 1924 a meeting was held and Ordinance Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and Resolution No. 2 were adopted as follows: Ordinance No. 2 (7) Duties of Officers; Ordinance No. 3 Elections, qualifying and registration; Ordinance No. 4 Salaries of Clerk and Marshal; Ordinance No. 5 Filling of vacancies in office; Ordinance No. 6 Fixing Fees for witnesses for municipal court; Resolution No. 2 - Employing Gow as bookkeeper



1925


January 12, 1925 Town Council approved Resolution No. 3 approved the Town Council as judge of the elections, required a majority to be present for action, the order of business, and conduct of meetings; and Resolution No. 4 designating the Bank of Sebastian as Council Chambers until some other suitable chamber is provided.


The Bank of Sebastian was located in the center of town on Main Street where the north end of Central Avenue ended at Main Street. To continue north one had to take a left and then turn north on North Central. The bank later failed in 1929. Later on in the 50s US Highway One would come through that area and the bank building would be torn down to make way for it.


Town Council adopted Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 regarding obstruction of railway crossings, regulating traffic, payments on debt, tax on dogs, and approving loan of $2000 in accordance with Sec 1898 State of Florida.


January 19, 1925 Town Council adopted a new Chapter 2 imposing licenses.


January 26, 1925 Town Council adopted Resolution No. 5 to have a map or plat prepared for the Town, and adopted Chapters 13 and 14, fees for violations and amending Ch 12.


February 10, 1925 Town Council adopted Chapter 15 prohibiting the running of horses, cattle, hogs, mules, sheep of any age or size on public streets


February 17, 1925 Town Council adopted Chapters 16 and 17, regulating subdivision of land and requiring a permit for construction of or addition to buildings; and Resolution 6 requiring all streets be 80' wide unless deemed not necessary for safe passage


March 2, 1925 Town Council passed Resolutions 7 and 8 to accept results of special election to borrow $2000 and the vote was 29 for and 4 against, and to borrow $2000 from Bank of Sebastian for current expenses.


March 10, 1925 motion approved to make Riverside Drive (now Indian River Drive) 80' wide instead of 60', and Resolution 9 to approve plat and map of Town prepared by Carter and Demerow.


March 10, 1925 Town Council approved a motion to direct Attorneys to prepare a bill to incorporate the Town as a City said bill to be introduced and passed at the coming session of Legislature at Tallahassee.


April 13, 1925 approved a motion to let the Clerk have three signs.


April 27, 1925 appointed a committee to get information and plans for a Town Electric and Light plant.


May 11, 1925 motion to pay bills for Notices in the press to incorporate Sebastian as a City in the amount of $15.40.


On May 1925 the Florida Legislature passed "Chapter 11155 (Number 1133)" entitled: "AN ACT to abolish the present municipality of Town of Sebastian, St. Lucie County, Florida and to create and establish a Municipal Corporation to be known as City of Sebastian, St. Lucie County, Florida; to Prescribe the Territorial Limits Thereof; to Prescribe the Form of Government and Confer Certain Powers Upon Said Municipality and the Officers Thereof; and to Provide for the Carrying into Effect of the Provisions of this Act" This 48 page Act was adopted by the

Florida Legislature on May 18, 1925.


Though Council directed the Attorneys to prepare the bill for incorporation as a City in March 1925 there is no document in the city records under Council minutes or Ordinances as to approval by ordinance of this language by the Council. The ordinances described above adopted by Council between December 8, 1924 and early 1925 are referenced in the public record in minutes and some ordinances. 


On May 11, there is a motion to pay for the advertisement to incorporate as a city in the amount of $15.40.


It was on a hot afternoon in Tallahassee in late May of 1925 that Representative Anthony W. Young - later to become State Senator - waited for the outcome of a vote from the Florida Senate. His bill, which would finally remove Vero Beach from the politics of Fort Pierce by creating the new county of Indian River, had initiated one of the most bitter fights ever waged in the Senate. Widely separated by political and cultural ideologies, the citizens of Vero Beach had for years resented the control that Ft. Pierce politicians exerted over their community. Prior to the vote, delegations - both for and against - flowed in and out of Tallahassee. But on that day in late May, Young's bill passed by a vote of 23 to 9. (borrowedVeroBeach.com/VeroBeachCommunOinty- line)


With this vote of the Senate Sebastian became a part of Indian River County, and no longer a part of St. Lucie County.


Meetings in May and into June were primarily discussions and actions taken on purchases of used equipment for a proposed electric power and ice plant and setting up issuance of bonds for the purpose of financing the plant, extension of Fellsmere Road to New Dixie Highway (which would later become US 1) and an offer of land to do so, the platting of land to be known as "Edgewater Park".

 

On June 22, 1925 Council adopted Chapter 18 the issuance of bonds for the proposed electric and ice plant, and Marshall Vickers resigned and John Beugnot was appointed Marshall and Tax Collector.


On July 13, 1925 Town Council adopted Resolutions 10 and 11, approving the assessment roll for the Town, and to hold a special election to issue a SOK bond for the new plant.


On July 27, 1925 Town Council adopted Chapter 19 regulating protection of food stuffs, and drinks for sale and inspections thereof, and Chapter 20 providing for disposal of human excreta and that open privies were a nuisance. They also approved Resolution 12 design for septic tanks designed by George W. Simons, Chief Sanitary Engineer for the Board of Health and Chapter 21 prevention and control of breeding of mosquitoes. A new Budget Committee was formed being M.M. Miller and Councilman Sembler.


August 4, 1925 adopted Resolution 13 approving 8/3/25 election result 35-0 vote for issuance of $5OK bond for electric and ice plant on 8/10/25, adopted Resolution 14 approving offering of bonds for sale, and approved purchase of 9 acres fronting Louisiana Avenue and Fellsmere RR for $8500 cash for Municipal Electric and Ice Plant.


August 24, 1925 opened sealed bids for electric and ice plant, adopted Resolution 15 awarding bid to Pruden and Co. in the amount of $50,765 and adopted Chapter 22 for the acquisition of property for city streets.


September 14, 1925 approved millage in the amount of 15 mills, accepted the plat of Edgewater Subdivision, and accepted the resignation of City Clerk LO. Baughman.


September 25, 1925 approved plat of Ocean Breeze Subdivision.


September 28, 1925 E.W. Vickers is appointed Clerk, added another 1.5 mills for total of 16.5 mills for 1925, and approved advertising for bids for power plant 150 hp & 10 ton ice machine, and approved sending all street paving requests to the Street and Alley Committee.


Council members were appointed to meet with Indian River County on October 6, 1925 to obtain assistance in extending Fellsmere Road to New Dixie Highway.


October 5, 1925 Council adopted Chapter 23 levying taxes for 1925 at 16 ½ mills, City Clerk instructed to contact FEC Railroad for permission to unload tank cars and get a price for a two car spur for the power plant.


October 12, 1925 Council adopted Chapter 24 to regulate laying out of streets.

October 19, 1925 Council adopted Chapter 25 to acquire property for plant.


October 26, 1925 Council adopted Chapter 26 to prohibit gambling in City; and approved the bid for plant construction to Sanborn and Feazell in the amount of $15,621


October 27, 1925 Council approved bids for engine and equipment for the electric and ice plant in the amount of $18,900 which was amended on November 9, along with appointment of C.E. Burkhart as Superintendent of the plant.


E.W. Vickers resigned as City Clerk and M.M Braddock was appointed.


November 25, 1925 there was approval of purchasing a Ford Touring Car for the Marshal.


December 7, 1925 Council adopted Resolution 17 calling a General Election on December 14, 1925 to elect the Mayor, two Council members and a City Clerk, and appointed election inspectors and a Clerk of the Election. They also adopted Chapter 26B manner in which names are to appear on the ballot.


Main Street in its current 80' wide configuration was paved. 


On December 14, 1925 Council certified the election results and the following were the newly seated elected officials: Mayor George T. Badger, W.C. Braddock, Jr, President, Charles W. Sembler, A.G. Roberts, M.M. Miller, E.W. Vickers. G.H Braddock is City Clerk.


On December 21, 1925 Council adopted Chapter 27, salary of Clerk and Marshal and Chapter 28 regarding the Sebastian Municipal Power and Ice Plant regulations and appointed a Superintendent.


On December 29, 1925 Council wrapped up the year by approving Okey Bland contract to clear North Central Avenue from Main Street to Ocean Breeze Heights Subdivision.


I cited the approval and subjects of Chapters (ordinances) and Resolutions and certain other adoptions and approvals to show the very swift and decisive actions taken by our first Council in the first year following incorporation on December 8, 1924 to establish rules for a properly run town/city in the early days of Florida's swift growth and expansion in the early 1900s. Some of the regulations they imposed early on still have some effect on how our City codes and regulations are set out today. Though parts of Florida had been discovered and explored in the 1500s and 1600s much of Florida was a wilderness just being discovered in the mid to late 1800s as was Sebastian.


Again the change from Town of Sebastian in December 1924 to City of Sebastian in 1925 is vague and some records do not exist to show the transition other than instruction by Council to Attorneys in early 1925 to draft a bill, the bill as enacted by Florida in May 1925, and payment for advertisements. Ordinances and Resolution started in 1924 as number one and carried on in succession through to 1925 and beyond. There are many ordinances missing from the record in these early years but the minutes clearly recognize the ordinance and resolution numbers and description of their content.


To read more about the Chapter (ordinances) and resolutions adopted by succeeding Councils please visit the City of Sebastian City Clerk public records page and select browse. Every permanent record of the City has been scanned and provided via Laserfiche for public review.


1932


Mayor Badger called a special meeting on November 1, 1932 at the Hardee Service Station to consider a petition received from some citizens for an election to revoke the City Charter. A special election was called for December 19, 1932. Following the vote a Resolution was approved stating that there were 132 votes cast to surrender the franchise of which 56 were for and 76 were against.


Following the December 12, 1932 General and December 19, 1932 Special Election the seated elected officials were: Mayor George T. Badger, R.G. Hardee, President, G.T. Glasgow, Roy K. Fields, E.W. Vickers, LO. Baughman

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