Notable Residents

The Lafayette Park Neighborhood has had many residents who have distinguished themselves in service to Tallahassee and the state as a whole. One of the neighborhood’s most famous residents was Claude Pepper, who represented Florida in the U.S. Senate from 1936-1951 and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1963-1989. Pepper resided at 402 Wilson Street, a brick Vernacular home with colonial revival influence that he built in 1939 for himself and his mother and father. He rose from his family’s farm in Alabama to become one of the more striking personalities in American politics. Mr. Pepper, dubbed ”Red Pepper” by some because of his red hair and fiery oratory and by others for his left-of-center political views, had a razor-sharp mind, a wealth of knowledge and a great flair for the dramatic. Lawton Chiles, the forty-first Governor of Florida in office from 1991-1998, resided at 607 East 6th Street in the frame vernacular style home built in 1926. Governor Chiles, a Democrat who never lost an election, served in the Florida House of Representatives (1958-1966), the Florida State Senate(1966-1970), the United States Senate(1971-1989) , and as governor until his death in office in the last month of his term.

Mamie Eaton-Greene, the first woman to be elected to a state office in Florida resided with her family at 816 Cherry Street.  This English Revival home was constructed between 1930-1934 and is sited on a larged landscaped lot which gives it a country cottage look. Mrs. Eaton-Greene was elected twice to the Florida Railroad Commission, from 1927-1935.  Today, the Railroad Commission is the Florida Public Service Commission.  Mamie’s son, Joe Oscar Eaton was a federal court judge in the southern district from 1967 to 1985. He grew up in this house.

Two other former federal court judges resided in our neighborhood.  Judge Curtis Waller lived at 416 Williams, a Frame Vernacular home built in 1927 and Judge Louie Willard Strum who resided at 425 Williams built in 1930.  The Strum house was originally located on a two acre parcel that was sold in the 1980’s for commercial development.

Out of eighteen Tallahassee city mayor-commissioners who held office between 1925 and 1941, one third of them resided in the Lafayette Park Neighborhood or were closely related to its development. Several of these notable men included W. Theo Proctor who resided at 511 Beard Street, a Colonial Revival home built in 1938; Payne Midyette who resided at 442 McDaniel Street, a Frame Vernacular house built in 1925; Leonard A. Wesson residing at 503 McDaniel that was built in 1930; and H. Jack Yaeger residing at 446 McDaniel, Frame Vernacular with English Revival influence home built in 1925.

Several important state educators have resided in Lafayette Park Neighborhood as well. Notable among these included James S. Rickards, the former Executive Director of the Florida Education Association and namesake of the High School lived at 522 Williams that was built in 1941 and Kate Sullivan owned the home at 503 Beard Street.
Most recently, the Neighborhood is now the home of Leon County Commissioner, Mary Ann Lindley and City Commissioner Gil Ziffer.

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