FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives
Miami-Dade Co. Biographies
BOBST. Merwin S.
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
II, page 154, 1923.
BOBST, MERWIN S. is one of the conspicuously successful young lawyers of the Florida bar,
and has been in practice at Miami ten years, except for the period while he was serving
the Government during and after the World war.
Mr. BOBST was born at Reading, Pennsylvania, August 18, 1890, and from the age of eight
years had responsibilities in connection with the support of the family and, unaided, had
to provide his education and prepare himself for a career of usefulness. He is a son of
JAMES CHARLES and ALICE LOUISE (HEFFLINGER) BOBST, also natives of Pennsylvania. The BOBST
family was established in Pennsylvania as early as 1742. JAMES C. BOBST was a Union soldier
in the Civil war, and there were other ancestors represented in the Revolution and the War
MERWIN S. BOBST was about eight years old when his father died. He grew up at Reading,
attended public schools there, though not regularly, and the first line of his serious
employment was in newspaper work. He worked on a newspaper at Reading for three years,
and at the same time studied law. It was in January, 1910, that Mr. BOBST came to Miami,
and for a time was a reporter for the Miami Metropolis and later became clerk to Judge R.
B. GAUTIER, then county judge of Dade County. While in this service he utilized his special
opportunities for the study of law, and was admitted to the Dade County bar in 1913, and
began practice that year. Since then he has been admitted to practice in the Federal Courts
of Florida, the state Supreme Court of Florida and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Mr. BOBST had an unusual record for experience and service during the war. In the spring
of 1918 he enlisted at Miami in the United States navy, being assigned to the Bureau of
Naval Intelligence. He was assigned to personal investigation as a secret service man of
matters of the greatest importance to the safety of the country. In this capacity he went
to Cuba and the Bahama Islands, to a number of Atlantic coast cities as far north as
Philadelphia, and in one particular case his work had a serious international aspect and
resulted in thwarting enemy projects of a most sensational nature. For this he received
the highest commendation from department officials in Washington. While he was on foreign
soil he was subject to the greatest dangers and hazards, but he proved well qualified for
When he resigned from the Government service September 15, 1920, he had completed about
two and a half years of service. For about half of this time he had been in the Naval
Intelligence Bureau and the remainder as a special agent of the Department of Justice.
Soon after resigning he resumed his professional practice in Miami. Mr. BOBST is a member
of the American Legion. At Miami, October 14, 1911, he married JULIA B. MONROE, daughter
of Doctor and Mrs. A. LEIGHT MONROE. They have three children: MONROE STANLEY, MARTHA
LOUISA and JAMES CHARLES.
Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn
©2010 Fran Smith
This page presented August 14, 2010