Herman Glogowski (1854–1909)
Prepared by the Historical Monument Trail Selection Committee, Friends of the Riverwalk. For
further info, contact Robert Kerstein, BKerstein@ut.edu.
Herman Glogowski, a four-term mayor of Tampa and its first Jewish mayor,
played a significant role in the growth of Tampa during the latter 19th and early 20th
centuries. Glogowski was born in Germany in 1854 and emigrated to New York in
1869. He then moved in Gainesville, Florida in the late 1870s and started a dry goods
establishment. He married Bertha Brown in 1882 and not long afterwards they moved
to Tampa, where he opened a clothing and furnishing store.
Glogowski was elected mayor of the town of Tampa in August 1886 for a one-year
term. In March 1888 he was elected for another one-year term of the municipality
of Tampa, which now included the growing cigar factory and immigrant neighborhood
of Ybor City. Glogowski then served two more terms as mayor of Tampa, from March
1890 to March 1891 and from March 1892 to March 1893.
As mayor of a growing city, Glogowski presided during an era of several
significant community improvements. During his first term, the Tampa Fire
Department was organized, with Glogowski serving as its treasurer. During his second
term, Glogowski played a major role in securing the construction of Henry Plant’s
Tampa Bay Hotel by supporting both the tax incentives that Plant requested and the
construction of the bridge over the Hillsborough River connecting downtown to the
hotel. In July 1888, Mayor Glogowski laid the cornerstone of the hotel, which opened
in 1891. During his time in office, other important accomplishments included the
completion of a new city hall, the opening of Tampa’s first telephone system, and the
start of the construction of an electric street railway system. After completing his
terms as mayor, Glogowski was appointed the special deputy collector of customs for
the Port of Tampa and held this position between 1894 and 1896.
In addition to his public service, Glogowski was active in a variety of community
organizations. He was a member of the Board of Trade, which included most of
Tampa’s successful professional and businessmen. In addition, he was the first
president of the German-American Club and was a leader of the Masonic Lodge.
Glogowski also was a founding member of Schaarai Zedek, Tampa’s first synagogue,
and during his term as president of the congregation work began on the construction of
the temple, for which Glogowski laid the cornerstone in August 1899.