A well-informed Jacksonville resident would probably be able to tell you that Hart Expressway and Hart Bridge are named for Isaiah D. Hart, the city’s founder.
But did you know that Laura Street is named for his daughter?
Here’s a few streets in Jax with interesting origin stories that you might not have known about… until now!
LAURA STREET: HART’S DAUGHTER
As mentioned, Laura Street is named for Isaiah Hart’s daughter.
Hart, credited for founding Jacksonville, had eight children. One of them, Ossian, went on to become the state’s tenth governor. (Rumors have been floated that “Ocean Street” is so-named as a play on Ossian’s name – but no evidence supports this.)
DUVAL STREET (AND ALSO DUVAL COUNTY): WILLIAM POPE DUVAL
Just about anything named “Duval” in Florida is named after William Pope Duval, who became the state’s first territorial governor. (As opposed to military governor, a role that had been held by Andrew Jackson.)
Duval served as governor for 12 years, and had served in Congress prior to becoming governor.
HENDRICKS AVENUE: ISSAC HENDRICKS
South Jacksonville history buffs may be aware that San Marco’s Hendricks Avenue is named after Issac Hendricks.
Hendricks was an early settler and prominent land owner in South Jacksonville, or modern-day San Marco. He owned a large plantation building that still stands in San Marco, and his extended family owned most of the land that would become the town of South Jacksonville in the early 1900s.
PHILIPS HIGHWAY: JUDGE HENRY B. PHILIPS
Part of Hendricks’ extended family was the Philips family – his daughter married Albert Philips and gave birth to Henry Bethune Philips.
The Philips family also owned lots of land, and Henry grew up to become an influential Duval County judge. He was an ardent supporter of road and infrastructure development, and was recognized for this when a portion of US-1 was designated as Philips Highway in his honor. (A clerical error led to his name being misspelled on several street signs for decades before being fixed recently.)
FORSYTH STREET: JOHN FORSYTH
Downtown’s Forsyth Street is one of many things in the South named after John Forsyth.
Forsyth was the 33rd governor of Georgia, and served as Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson. He also served in Congress representing Georgia.
FORBES STREET: MURRAY FORBES
Nestled in the heart of Riverside and intersecting with King Street, Forbes Street is named for Murray Forbes.
Forbes was a northern developer who was instrumental in forming the Riverside neighborhood back in the late 1800s. He and newspaper editor Edward Cheney bought part of a former plantation’s land that became Riverside. The other half of the plantation became Brooklyn.
ACOSTA EXPRESSWAY (AND ACOSTA BRIDGE): ST. ELMO ACOSTA
St. Elmo Acosta was a city official who tirelessly pushed for the creation of a bridge over the St. Johns River, back before one existed.
So it was only natural that when the original Acosta Bridge was constructed, it was named in his honor. That bridge has since been replaced, but the name carries on his legacy.
In addition to fighting for the bridge’s funding, Acosta was also a supporter of “green” causes. But curiously enough, despite his progressive agenda, he was in opposition of female suffrage.