Tampa Cigar Industry & History Time Line (1914 to 1919)



Ramon Fernandez





















Gavino Gutierrez





















The following is a timeline of some of the most important events that help to create what is for us today'sTampa..._

1914 June 28th. - Was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand , heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo.

1914 July 28, - Servia declared war to Austria, Hungary, and Germany, and the "First World War" started.
1914 September 12, - today the master cigar maker and entrepreneur Ramon Fernandez, died peacefully at home in the morning at the age of 70, surrounded by some family, and friends. Until this day many people do not remember the name of "the man that made the first cigar in Tampa", he will be also forgotten by historians...

1914 November 13, - The cigar Manufacturer Association presented today the "Cigars Production Report 1914" with a total of 260,800,000 cigars.

1915 January - The New Year was caught up in the greatest upheaval of its entire history the "First World War". For first time since 1892, not a single new cigar manufacturing company opened in West Tampa, and only one in Ybor. The impact of the war on the cigar industry is difficult to assess. From the economy, raw materials, availability, market and demand are stand still, and will mark the industry for years to come...The West Tampa Mayor is Hon. James D. Mc Farlane, and Tampa Mayor is Hon. Francis L. Wing.

1915 Friday 21 May 1915 - Today, the city of Clearwater received approval for reincorporation by the Florida Legislature, to be the City of Clearwater and in turn was designated as the seat of the head of Pinellas County.

  • Monday May 24, this morning began the construction of the new town hall of Tampa, located on the southeast corner of Florida Avenue at 315 Lafayette Avenue. The three-story Beaux Arts Renaissance style was designed by renowned architect Elliott Leo Malachi.

1915 November 13, - The cigar Manufacturer Association presented today the "Cigars Production Report 1915" with a total of 285,836,000 cigars. More than the previous year.

  • November 13 - Today opened the first Florida's F.W. Woolworth Department Store in downtown Tampa.
  • Monday November 15, - today began construction of Public Library in Tampa Heights, located at 102 E. 7th. Avenue in Ybor City. The classical revival style building will take about two years to build, and the building was designed by architect Fred J. James, at a cost of $50,000 dollars donated by the Carnegie Corp. of New York.

1916 February 4, - Tampa had some 1,200 automobiles registered. – Tampa Tribune

  • November 17, - Today started construction of a two-story building on 7th Avenue in Ybor City. This will be the location of the department store F.W. Woolworth.

1916 November 15, - The cigar Manufacturer Association presented today the "Cigars Production Report 1916" with a total of 312,456,376 cigars. Biggest production so far.

1917 Saturday April 6, - President Wilson called for war on Germany, and U.S. Congress declared war on this date, after the sinking of seven U.S. merchant ships by submarines, and the publication of the Zimmerman telegram. This will create a negative effect in the Tampa cigar industry production. Tampa Tribune...
1917 Monday April 8,- While the strike was in progress West Tampa was hit by a destructive fire, which started in the abandoned building of Boltz Clymer Cigar Co. Apparently the fire started by careless youth playing in the back of the building. More than 100 buildings from homes, churches and factories were destroyed by the blaze in a sixteen (16) blocks area.

1917 Friday November 16, - The cigar Manufacturer Association presented today the "Cigars Production Report 1917" with a total of 354,690,194 cigars. Contrary to popular belived another production record.

  • Saturday November 17 - this morning the ribbon cutting took place during the inauguration of the Tampa Heights Public Library. Located at 102 E. 7th. Avenue in Ybor City.

1918 January - The year as the one before started very slow for the cigar industry and the events in the second part of the year (end of the World War I ) will mark the industry future. At this time 40 per cent of cigars are made by hand.

1918 July 18th - The year started with a general strike and the cigar industry in West Tampa and Ybor City was in halt until June 6. The economy in general has being greatly affected due the war.
1918 November 16, - The cigar Manufacturer Association presented today the "Cigars Production Report 1918" with a total of 365,062.928 cigars. Another production record mostly to the incorporation of the cigar making machines.
1919 March, 7th - Gavino Gutierrez the prominent newcomer that designed what is today’s Ybor City, developer, and how became to be the first Spanish consul in Tampa. Pass-a-way today surrounded by his two daughters; Aurora and Petronila, and son named Gavino Jr. In 1917 Gutierrez returned to his birth place in Spain, San Vicente de la Barqueras in Santander province, were he died.

1919 June 28th, - the Treaty of Versailles (le Traité de Versailles) was signed on this day. It ended the state of was between Germany, and the Allied Powers. Five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

1919 October 28, - Today Congress passed de "Volted Act", Amendment Eighteenth to the Constitution, to enforce the law which prohibited the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation threof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States". To be enforce begining January 1920 as the Prohibition.

1919 November 15, - The cigar Manufacturer Association presented today the "Cigars Production Report 1919" with a total of 325,012.711 cigars.


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Author - Researcher: W. Reyes, Ph.D.