How much do you know about the most influential developer of Florida?
Take this Henry Flagler quiz!
1. Flagler was born in:
C. New York
A: Flagler was born on Jan. 2, 1830, in Hopewell, N.Y.
2. Which of these women was NOT married to Henry Flagler?
A. Mary Lily Kenan
B. Mary Harkness
C. Julia Tuttle
D. Ida Alice Shourds
A: Flagler’s wives were Mary Harkness, Ida Alice Shourds and Mary Lily Kenan.
3. Flagler was the son of a:
B. Steel worker
D. He never knew his father
A: Flagler was son of the Rev. Isaac Flagler.
4. How far did Flagler get in school?
A: Post-graduate degree
B. College degree
C. High school diploma
D. Eighth grade
A: At the age of 14, after completing the eighth grade, Flagler moved to Bellevue, Ohio, where he found work with his cousins in a grain store. Pay: $5 a month plus room and board.
5. How many children did Flagler have?
A: He had three children by Mary Harkness: Jennie Louise, Carrie and Henry Harkness.
6. Flagler’s first business venture was in:
A: In 1862, Henry Flagler and his brother-in-law, Barney York, founded the Flagler and York Salt Company, a salt mining business in Saginaw, Mich. When the Civil War ended, salt, which had been in heavy use as preservative, was no longer in high demand and the company collapsed, leaving Flagler heavily in debt.
7. Flagler’s big break came when he partnered with:
A. Andrew Carnegie
B. John D. Rockefeller
C. Henry Ford
D. Thomas Edison
A: During the mid-1860s, Rockefeller became interested in the oil business and approached Flagler, with whom he had business dealings for years. Flagler secured $100,000 from a relative on the condition that he be made a partner owning 25 percent of the shares in the new company.
8. What first brought Flagler to Florida?
A. A real estate venture
B. Rum-running opportunities
C. His wife’s illness
D. The Civil War
A: In 1878, Flagler’s wife, Mary, who had always struggled with health problems, became ill. On her doctor’s advice, she and Flagler visited Jacksonville for the winter. Mary died on May 18, 1881 at 47.
9. What was the first Florida town Flagler developed?
A. Palm Beach
C. St. Augustine
A: Two years after Mary Harkness’ death, Flagler married Ida Alice Shourds. The couple later traveled to St. Augustine, which they found charming but lacking in adequate hotels and transportation. Flagler believed Florida had the potential to attract large numbers of tourists. He returned to St. Augustine in 1885 and began construction of the 540-room Hotel Ponce de Leon.
10. What railroad traces its lineage to Flagler?
D. Seaboard Coast Line
A: After building the Ponce de Leon hotel in St. Augustine, Flagler bought the Jacksonville, St. Augustine & Halifax Railroad, the first railroad in what would eventually become the Florida East Coast Railway system.
11. What was Flagler’s first Palm Beach hotel?
A. Royal Poinciana
C. The Breakers
D. Palm Beach Inn
A: In 1894 Flagler built the Hotel Royal Poinciana and extended his railroad further south to West Palm Beach. The Hotel Royal Poinciana soon became the largest resort in the world. In 1896 Flagler built the Palm Beach Inn, renamed The Breakers in 1901.
12. What was “Flagler’s Folly?”
A. The Breakers
B. A water plant
C. His marriages
D. The railroad to Key West
A: In 1905, when the United States took on the Panama Canal project, Flagler decided that it was finally time to fulfill his dream of extending the railroad to Key West, adding 156 miles of track, mostly over water. He named it the Over-Sea Railroad. Finished in 1912, it was the most ambitious engineering feat undertaken by a private citizen. Flagler arrived in Key West on Jan. 22 to greet the train.
13. What’s the name of Flagler’s palatial Palm Beach mansion, now the Flagler Museum?
A. The Ponce
C. Flagler Arms
D. The Seagull Cottage
A: With more than 100,000 square feet and 75-plus rooms, Whitehall was described in 1902 by the New York Herald as “more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world.”
14. Where is Flagler buried?
A. West Palm Beach
B. Palm Beach
C. St. Augustine
D. Cleveland, Ohio
A: Only a year after seeing his railroad open to Key West, Flagler fell down a some stairs at Whitehall. He died at 83 on May 20, 1913. He was buried in St. Augustine alongside his daughter, Jennie Louise, and his first wife, Mary Harkness.
15. What did a minister call Flagler at a memorial service for him a year after his death?
A. The godfather of Florida
B. The old man of Florida
C. The wizard of the tropics
D. The king of the railroads
A: At a memorial service at Palm Beach’s Royal Poinciana Chapel, The Rev. George Morgan Ward said, “I have spoken of the godfather of this state. May the state of Florida recognize his benefits… I have spoken of one of the great men of history. The coming years will make clear how wise was his judgment.”
Compiled from Flagler’s official biography and “Palm Beach Post” archives.