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BARRITT, William J.
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
Presented by Nancy Rayburn
II, page 149, 1923.
BARRITT, WILLIAM J. There is an old saying to the effect that nothing breeds success like
success itself, and there is sound reason behind the seeming platitude, for it is true that
people prefer to deal with and confide their affairs to those who have already proven their
ability to transact business in a successful manner. Therefore it is that few men are
engaged in one line of business alone, but if they have achieved distinction in it, are
urged to give to some other one some of their care and attention. Such is the case with
WILLIAM J. BARRITT, whose interests are many at Tampa, although he is best known to its
citizens as a manufacturer of pure, high-grade ice cream.
English by birth, WILLIAM J. BARRITT was born in London, England, January 6, 1879, and was
but six years old when brought to this country by his parents, WILLIAM and ANNIE (KITTIRIDGE)
BARRITT, who located in Florida in 1885, and became valued residents of Sanford, later moving
to Mount Dora, and subsequently to Tampa, where the father still resides. The mother died in
1899. Of their five children three reached maturity, but WILLIAM J., the eldest born, is now
the only survivor.
Growing up in Florida, WILLIAM J. BARRITT attended its public schools, and was taught by his
watchful father to make himself useful, both at home and in the grocery which the latter was
conducting. Until he was nineteen years old the young man continued with his father, but
then branched out for himself and went into a dairy business in Tampa. His initial enterprise
was conducted upon a very small scale, but it was carried on so intelligently, and the service
rendered was so excellent, that business grew, and when he sold it in 1912 Mr. BARRITT had
the largest concern of its kind in the city. In the meanwhile he had become interested in
the production of ice cream, and when he sold his dairy business he threw his energies into
the building up of a large plant for the purpose of producing a fine grade at reasonable
prices. In this, too, he has been very successful, and now has three plants and gives employment
to thirty persons, he being the most extensive manufacturer of ice cream at Tampa. He sells
only at wholesale. Interested as a stockholder in a number of enterprises, he not only owns
stock in the Bank of Commerce, but is one of its directors and its vice president. When Tampa
adopted the commission form of city government Mr. BARRITT was chosen and elected a member for
the first board of commissioners, and was chosen by the board as mayor pro tem, which office
he now holds. Fraternally he is a Mason and a Knight of Pythias. In him the Methodist
Episcopal Church has one of its most active workers, and he has long belonged to this denomination.
He is also a director of the Y. M. C. A., and an active member of the Rotary Club.
In September, 1899, Mr. BARRITT was united in marriage with BLANCHE I. McNEAL, of Zanesville,
Ohio. Mr. And Mrs. BARRITT have five children, namely: JAMES D., JANE A., EDNA D., WILLIAM
J., Junior, and HARVEY M. Having lived in Tampa for so many years, Mr. BARRITT is naturally
interested in the city's welfare, and is proud of the fact that he has occupied a position
where it has been possible for him to contribute much toward its development.
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