Henry M. Flagler
Flagler originally moved to Florida at the suggestion of a physician who believed the temperate climate would be beneficial for his ailing wife. Though his wife died shortly after the move, Flagler was enamored with the then remote state. He purchased the Jacksonville, St. Augustine & Halifax River Railroad in 1886 and extended its line to the Florida keys. Along the way, he invested in massive real estate, building palatial hotels and resorts. In recognition of his contributions to its development, Flagler has been called the “father of Florida.”