FL-GenWeb Digital Library and Archives
Duval Co. Biographies
BELOTE, Hon. William Perry
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
II, page 84, 1923.
BELOTE, Hon. WILLIAM PERRY. The chief executive office of any community is a highly
responsible one, and the individual occupying it has resting upon his shoulders not only
the multitudinous details pertaining to the management of a city, but also the accountability
for its commercial and moral integrity. As he is, so largely is his community, for it soon
reflects his character and manner of dealing with important problems, and unless he retains
a firm grip upon the reins of government and influences his associates to act in harmony and
in a constructive manner his administration soon shows the effect of lax principles. For
this reason, of late years the people of the more advanced cities have been choosing their
mayors from among their sound business men, for they appreciate the beneficent effect of
example and action and know that an individual who has won success in a commercial or industrial
way has the ability and experience to manage the complicated affairs of a city government.
The present incumbent of the mayor's office of South Jacksonville is Hon. WILLIAM PERRY BELOTE,
who has given the city an excellent business administration, drawing on his ripened experience
as a business man.
Mayor BELOTE was born at Panama Park, Florida, April 21, 1879, and is a son of HENRY CLAY and
GERTRUDE (HOZIER) BELOTE, natives of Norfolk, Virginia. HENRY C. BELOTE learned the trade of
coach painting in his youth, and in 1878 came to Florida and first settled at Okahumpka, whence
he removed in the following year to Panama Park. In 1883 he returned to Norfolk, where he
remained about two years, then again coming to Florida for about 1 ½ years. Eventually he
went back to Norfolk, and there passed the remainder of his life, dying in 1892. He was a
member of the Improved Order of the Red Men and a democrat in politics, and his religious
faith was that of the Baptist Church. Mrs. BELOTE still survives, in her fifty-ninth year.
She and her husband had four children, of whom three are living. WILLIAM PERRY being the
WILLIAM P. BELOTE was but thirteen years of age when his father died, and his educational
advantages were somewhat limited, as, being the eldest of the children, he was called upon
at that age to contribute to the family's support. Since his youth, however, he has educated
himself freely through reading, study and observation, and now possesses a good practical
education and broad information on a number of important subjects. As a youth he learned
the trade of machinist, and when he had mastered that position was employed for a time in
the machine department of Little Brothers. Later he was with the Florida Machine Works
for about three years, and then entered the machine department of the S.B. Hubbard Company,
remaining with this firm ten years, one month and five days. On December 26, 1911, he
embarked in the hardware business at South Jacksonville, and has continued in this line
ever since, with constantly growing success. His prosperity is the result of merit and
industry, and the excellent standing that he enjoys has been brought about by integrity
and honorable dealing.
Mr. BELOTE has been interested in civic affairs for a number of years, and is known as
one of the influential democrats of South Jacksonville. As early as 1907 he was appointed
one of the Board of City Commissioners by Governor Broward, and in 1908 was elected to
succeed himself. He was also president of the council, but resigned before the expiration
of his term of office. In 1916 he was elected mayor, defeating WILLIAM H. MEYER by the
scant margin of thirteen votes. In 1917 and 1919 he had no opposition for the mayoralty,
but in 1921 was opposed by JOHN F. WHITE, whom he defeated by 123 votes. His record in the
mayor's office is one that reflects credit upon himself and the city. Mayor BELOTE is a
member and a past master of Duval Lodge No. 159, F. and A. M., the Order of the Eastern
Star, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights Templars, the Pythian Sisters and the Woodmen
of the World. He belongs likewise to the Commercial Club and the Chamber of Commerce
and his religious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal Church.
On December 16, 1903, Mr. BELOTE married Miss EUNICE PLUMMER, who was born at Plummer,
Florida, and they have two children: WILLIAM HOWARD and VIVIAN ELIZABETH.
Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn
©2016 Fran Smith
This page presented August 14, 2010