Today in Keys History

The Monroe County Jail in 1964.

1856: William Hackley recorded in his diary: Rose at 4 and walked to the Fort wharf where finding the tide high turned back and walked up to the quarters. At 8 a.m. barometer 29.69, thermometer 85.5, wind east northeast 2, clouds 5. The sick as far as I can learn are all doing well and no new cases since Major William Fraser’s. Yesterday wrote a letter to the Solicitor of the Treasury informing him that I had filed a claim for duties in the case of the brig Royal Sailor. Read papers. After tea went to Alexander Patterson’s and sent over to William Walls for Hatty and Charlotte who had been spending the day with Mrs. Myers this being her 24th birthday.

1862: John Bronson died of yellow fever, the first case of an epidemic that would claim the lives of 71 members of the 90th New York Regiment before it ended in October.

1944: William H. Malone, 67, died in Miami. He had served as state representative and senator from Monroe County and was mayor of Key West from 1933 to 1937.

1964: The Monroe County Commission, in a secret meeting, approved plans to raze the 11-year-old county jail and replace it with a three-story structure housing a jail and courtroom facilities.

1966: Twenty-five-year-old Capt. Eckwood Solomon was killed in action with a Green Beret unit in Vietnam.

1974: Jack Smith, president of the Chamber of Commerce, cut the ribbon to open Grant City at Key Plaza Shopping Center.

1977: Monroe County was ranked 13th in all counties of the state in per capita income but had the highest cost of living in the state. Monroe County had a per capita income of $5,478, compared to Palm Beach, the state’s highest with a $6,940 income.

1993: The U.S. Navy’s Tank Island, with its view of sunset, was going on the auction block with an opening bid of $25 million. It later became known as Sunset Key.