The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Caroline)
3 February 1915
Pensacola Editor Dead
Pensacola, Feb. 1.--After an illness of five days Col. Frank Mayes, editor of the Pensacola Journal, died this morning of erysipelas and pleurisy. He was prominent in Florida State Politics.
Makers of America
An Historical and Biographical Work by
AN Able Corps of Writers
Published under the patronage of
The Florida Historical Society, Jacksonville, Florida
Copyright B. F. Johnson (1909)
Frank L. Mayes
Frank L. Mayes, of Pensacola, Fla., editor of The Pensacola Journal, and one of the most prominent and progressive citizens of Florida, was born in Rockford, Ill., December 16, 1873, son of James O. and Jennie T. (Johnston) Mayes.
His father was a farmer and Frank's boyhood was spent upon the farm in Illinois, Iowa and South Dakota. When he was thirteen years of age his father died, leaving a widow and five children-he being the oldest-without means of support other than what their South Dakota ranch yielded. He now had to face difficulties, and the next few years were spent in helping his mother run the farm. He attended the country school during the winter. Biography was his favorite reading matter, and he found profitable a study of the lives of Moses, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, and the men who made English and American history and literature.
A succession of years of drouth and crop failures decided him against making agriculture his life-work. Having been born with a bent for both books and business, as well as an indomitable perseverance and grit, he determined to go to school, and he entered Dakota University at Mitchell, where he studied for three years, earning his livelihood at the same time. He then taught school for two years, and in 1896 he became a reporter on The Pensacola Times. He stayed with the Times eighteen months and then sought the cold of Dakota again, becoming part owner of the Mitchell (South Dakota) Gazette. In 1899 he returned to Pensacola, and later became controlling owner of The Pensacola Journal.
Mr. Mayes is President of The Journal Company, of the Mayes Printing Company, and of the Perdido Land Company. He is also controlling owner of The Meridian (Mississippi) Dispatch. He was President of the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce for the year 1906. He served two years in the South Dakota National Guard. Socially, he is a member of the Osceola Club, of the con-cordia Club, the Knights of Pythias, and the Knights of the Maccabees. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and of the YMCA. Politically, he is a Democrat and in 1908 he was elected as a Bryan Delegate from Florida's Third Congressional District to the Democratic National Convention at Denver. He was chosen by the Florida delegation to serve on the Resolutions Committee which wrote the National Democratic platform for that year, and as proxy for Florida's National Committeeman he helped organize the National Democratic Committee which met at Mr. Bryan's home after the convention adjourned. He was elected President of the Bryan and Kern Club at Pensacola and did effective work in raising a campaign fund for the National Committee in the campaign of 1908.
On December 25, 1899, Mr. Mayes was married to Miss Lois Kingsbery of Hartford, S. Dak. They have three children, Howard Lee, Charles Albert and Margarita Mayes.
Mr. Mayes believes hard work is the mainspring of success in life, other things being equal. Of important questions for consideration in Florida, he thinks that good roads and more people to cultivate the State's resources, are paramount.
(obit and bio by Jean Booton.)
20 December 1916
PRESS HONORS MR. MAYES
The coming Saturday, December 16, inst., being the anniversary of the birth of the lamented Frank L. Mayes, editor of the Pensacola Journal, The Herald deems it proper to pay a brief tribute to his memory. He was born Dec. 16th, 1873; and, if he had lived til now, he would have been 43 years old.
We do not know the date when he came to Pensacola and took charge of the Journal, but we think it was nearly twenty years ago. At that time, Pensacola's newspapers exhibited but little strength, and Mr. Mayes was practically unknown there or anywhere in the state. But it was not long before he put life and character in the Journal and forged his way to the front ranks of Florida journalism.
He made himself known as one of the purest and most courageous, as well as one of the ablest editors in the state. He was beyond the reach of malign influences and he stood bravely and unfalteringly on the right side of all moral questions.
Those of us who differed with him on political questions, respected and admired him because we knew him to be honest, sincere and incorruptible. The lofty character he possessed and the work he did made him a power the good, a fact that, even at this day, causes a deep pang of regret that he was cut down in the prime of his life and not permitted to continue his career of usefulness into a ripe old age.
He was not only a citizen and journalist sans peur et sans reproche, but he was a most lovable man, one whom the editor of The Herald was proud to reckon as a friend.
Blessed be his memory. -- Punta Gorda Herald
Had Frank L. Mayes lived today he would have celebrated the forty-fifth anniversary of his birth. Newspapers all over the state are following the lead of Editor W. A. Russell, of the Palatka News, in commemorating the anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest men who ever penned an editorial in the state of Florida.
Frank L. Mayes, editor and publisher of the Pensacola Journal up to the time of his death, nearly two years ago was another true American who "died too young." He passed away at the age of 43, early in the year of 1914 [sic], after a very brief illness, and his passing was received as a bitter shock, because all Florida knew that the state was losing the valuable services of one of its greatest and best builders. Frank L. Mayes died when he was reaching the zenith of his well-rounded career as an editor, builder and power for good, both state and nationally. No man stood in higher regard among his brethren of the press and it is with a distinct feeling of sorrow that his passing is recalled on his birthday anniversary. Today, the state over, the memory of the gone-but-not-forgotten editor will be commemorated in "In Memoriams." -- Jacksonville Metropolis
Thanks Rebecca Sheehan-Plotkin for the memorial articles.
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