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Hillsborough Biographies

BLACKBURN, Benjamin L.
Transcribed from:  The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol. 
II, page 114, 1923.

BLACKBURN, BENJAMIN L., supervisor of registration for Hillsborough County, is one of the
representative men of this region who are devoting their time and talents to the public
service and rendering an assistance to their fellow citizens which is worthy of commendation.
Having been a resident of Tampa since 1900, he has been associated with much of its development
both as an official and in a private capacity, and few men stand as high in popular confidence
as he.

The birth of BENJAMIN L. BLACKBURN occurred one mile from the state line between Florida and
Georgia, in Jefferson County, Florida, January 28, 1852, and he is a son of Hon. E. E. BLACKBURN
and grandson of WILLIAM BLACKBURN, who came to Florida in 1833. Hon. E. E. BLACKBURN was born
at Edgefield, South Carolina, in September, 1808, and died September 22, 1872, aged sixty-four
years. He was a distinguished man, serving as United States marshal under President Buchanan,
and later held the same office under President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy. He has
served in the Florida State Assembly, and was one of the most important men of Jefferson
County. His wife was NANCY McMILLAN, one of the seventeen children, twelve sons and five
daughters, born to ARCHIBALD McMILLAN. E. E. BLACKBURN and his wife had thirteen children,
ten sons and three daughters, of whom BENJAMIN L. BLACKBURN is the youngest and the only

Reared at Monticello, BENJAMIN L. BLACKBURN attended its schools through the grades and high-
school courses, and in 1889 went to De Sota County, Florida, and there was elected county
assessor, which office he held for four years. While there he became a dominant factor in
the local democratic party, and was chairman of the County Central Committee for eight years.
In 1900 he came to Tampa, and for a time was occupied with orange culture in the vicinity
of the city. He continued his political activities, and was elected one of the Executive
Committee of Hillsborough County, and served as chairman of the board for two years. On
October 1, 1918, he was appointed registration officer to fill the vacancy occasioned by
the death of T. B. SMITH, and was elected in the June primary of 1920, and again in June,

On February 20, 1882, Mr. BLACKBURN married EMMA G. SUMNER, of De Sota County, Florida and
they have one son, REUBEN EDWARD, of Tampa, who married, March 4, 1909, MARY E. EDMONDSON,
of Plant City, Florida, and they have two children: ROBERT EDWARD and MARY JANE. Fraternally
Mr. BLACKBURN is a Blue Lodge Mason, and he belongs to the Woodmen of the World, and is
deeply interested in both orders. A man of unflinching integrity, he gives to the affairs
of his office a whole-hearted attention that is productive of excellent results. His services
to the citrus industry have been valuable, and his holdings have been developed in a remarkable
manner. All in all Mr. BLACKBURN has been a strong figure in his community since coming here,
and can be depended upon to aid in promoting and measure which he believes will aid in forwarding
the material prosperity of Tampa and Hillsborough County.
Presented by  Nancy Rayburn
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