Henry Flagler: Oil tycoon saw Florida’s potential
According to a recent National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs study, â€śHalf or fewer of men and women 18-24 can identify the state of New York . . . on a map.â€? One wonders how well they would do with Florida. Henry Morrison Flagler could have given them chapter and verse on that state. After all, at one point he owned 3,125 square miles of Floridaâ€”nearly 6% of its land mass! Flagler was born in Hopewell, NY, in 1830. His father, Isaac, was a struggling missionary-pastor. His mother was on her third marriage; surviving her first two husbands. When Flagler was seven, the family settled in Ohio where the Harkness clan resided. They were his motherâ€™s second husbandâ€™s family and Flagler had an older half-brother, Dan Harkness.