FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives
BOARDMAN, Paul R.
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
III, page 116, 1923.
BOARDMAN, PAUL R. Probably no other line of endeavor so develops a man as that devoted to
the handling of real estate and insurance, for its proper conduct necessitates the employment
of so many qualities that a constant expansion is certain to result. One of the men who
has not only built up a very large and valuable connection as a realtor and insurance man,
but has also become one of the dominant factors in the life of his community, is PAUL R.
BOARDMAN of St. Petersburg.
Mr. BOARDMAN is not a Southerner by birth, but he is essentially one by choice and enthusiasm,
and it would be difficult to lead him away from Florida now that he has become so identified
with its best interests. He was born at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 28, 1882, a son of
JAMES L. and REBECCA J. (HALL) BOARDMAN, both natives of Pennsylvania, who are living retired
at St. Petersburg, to which city they came in 1914.
The seventh child of a family of eight, PAUL R. BOARDMAN was given a practical public school
education through the High School course, and then became an employee of the Carnegie Steel
Company. Later he was with the American Sheet Steel Company with which he remained until 1903
when he became associated with the real estate firm of Gault & Giffen and when that concern
was taken over by the Land Trust Company, he continued with the latter as a salesman, subsequently
he became auditor of its real estate and title departments. Still later he became secretary
and treasurer of the Bessemer Securities Company, and held the same offices with the Federal
Realty Company, both of Pittsburgh. At the same time he acted as general accountant of the
Penn Real Estate & Development Company. In 1908 the real estate firm of Gault & Giffen was
re-organized, and Mr. BOARDMAN was placed in charge of all of the accounts of that concern,
as auditor. At that time the new organization took over the general agency of the Florida
Association's holdings, located in Pinellas County, Florida. Mr. BOARDMAN became a salesman
and after selling a large amount of acreage, he decided to locate in Florida.
In January, 1910, he came to St. Petersburg, and established himself in the real estate business
under the title of Boardman & Getts, which association continued for several years.
In 1916 he organized the automobile business known as Boardman & Vogel. After GEORGE A. McCREA
had entered the firm the business was incorporated under the name of Boardman, Vogel & McCrea,
Incorporated, with PAUL R. BOARDMAN as president.
Mr. BOARDMAN has always been active in civic affairs and after having served for several
years on the Board of Governors of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce was elected president
of that body for the year 1917. He was elected president of the Pinellas County Board of
Trade for the year 1918 and served up until the time he entered the war service. He was
appointed vice chairman for Pinellas County in the War Savings Campaign and in this capacity
had complete charge of the organization of the county.
With a desire to aid further in the winning of the World war he disposed of his interest in
the Boardman, Vogel and McCrea Corporation to Mr. McCREA and left for Washington in July, 1918.
He was appointed by the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation as manager
of the Town of Harriman, Pennsylvania, which was being constructed by the Government in connection
with the Bristol Ship Yards on the Delaware River. In this capacity he was called upon to
carry on the function of mayor, city commissioners, and director of public safety, public
utilities and public works. He also had complete charge of all housing facilities accommodating
about ten thousand people. He continued in this work after the armistice was signed and up
until the fall of 1921. During this service he handled millions of dollars of Government
money. While he was in the service of the Government Mr. BOARDMAN maintained his home in St.
Petersburg where he returned immediately after his work was finished at Harriman. He at
once re-embarked in the real estate and insurance business.
After a year in business for himself he organized the Boardman-Frazee Realty Company, Incorporated,
of which he is president. He is one of the leading realtors of Pinellas County and one of
the greatest boosters of the Sunshine City.
Mr. BOARDMAN was appointed a city commissioner of St. Petersburg to fill the unexpired term
of A.F. THOMASSON, resigned.
On April 10, 1905, Mr. BOARDMAN was married to ADA L. KEMBLE, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
They have two children, PAUL K. and HELEN ADA.
Mr. BOARDMAN belongs to St. Petersburg Lodge No. 1224, B. P. O. E. He is a director of the
St. Petersburg Motor Club and of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Second only to his enthusiasm for the city and county is that which he displays for the
piscatorial art, and his friends jokingly claim that it was his success in landing tarpon
while on a visit to St. Petersburg that decided him to become a permanent resident.
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