James B. Crooks


In the first two decades of the twentieth century, Jacksonville, Florida, became a substantial southern city. Its population more than tripled from 28,428 to 91,558, as it jumped from the nineteenth to the twelfth largest city in the Southeast. Construction, after the great fire of 1901, of skyscrapers, a new city hall, court house, library, high schools, modern department stores, and a palatial railroad station created a cosmopolitan downtown. Expanding suburbs in Riverside, Murray Hill, Springfield, and across the St. Johns River in South Jacksonville provided the physical and social separation of work and home life that characterized cities across America. Wholesale and retail trade, transportation, banking, and insurance expanded rapidly as the private sector took advantage of business opportunities.