5 Historic And Significant Boynton Beach Residents | Boynton Beach History

5 historic and significant boynton beach residents

Boynton Beach is older and more storied than many of us ever knew. With the newfangled attention brought to this lovely South Palm Beach county town, many new residents are learning the name "Boynton Beach" for the first time. This city has more than a few historic moments, names, and places in Florida's folklore. Today, we look at five historic and significant Boynton Beach residents from the earliest days of settlement to the biggest stars of today.

nathan s boynton

Nathan S. Boynton

Nathan S. Boynton is the founding father of his namesake, Boynton Beach. Born in 1837, Boynton was a Michigan-born politician, inventor, businessman and Civil War Major. Following his service, Boynton returned to his native Port Huron, MI to serve in numerous municipal occupations, Following health concerns exacerbated by warmer weather, Boynton sought a new place to live, traveling to South Florida with Congressman William S. Linton, of Delray Beach notoriety. After arriving in what is today known as Boynton Beach, Nathan built a two-story hotel, known as The Boynton. Though Boynton would die in 1911 in his Michigan hometown, 9 years before the city was officially incorporated, the town built west of the hotel would be named for his namesake property.

Lamar Jackson

As of today, Lamar Jackson might be the most famous and recently-wealthy Boynton Beach citizen. Jackson was born in nearby Pompano Beach, playing his high school football at Boynton Beach Community High School, less than 2 miles from Cedar Ridge Estates. Following a Heisman Trophy-winning career at The University of Louisville, Jackson was drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson's dynamic dual-threat play soon earned him the NFL MVP, and after a highly publicized offseason was signed to a massive five-year, $260 million dollar contract extension.

Vince Wilfork

Vince Wilfork is another NFL legend hailing from Boynton Beach, playing his high school football at Santaluces High School in nearby Lantana, not far from Boynton Beach neighborhoods like Palmyra and Nautica Sound. For years, Wilfork terrorized hometown Dolphins fans twice a year with the New England Patriots, displaying stunning athleticism for such an enormous man. During his younger days, he was known as a multisport phenomenon, lettering in football, wrestling, and track & field where he holds state records in the shot put. 

ward b miller

Ward B. Miller

Ward B. Miller visited Boynton Beach for the second winter in 1920. The Miller family enjoyed the early trappings of snowbird-living, including the warm climate, socializing with their neighbors, and beautiful outdoor days in the sun and saltwater. Born in Indiana, Miller would ply his trade in the lumber business in Port Huron, MI - the same town Nathan Boynton hailed from. Miller chose a plot of land to build Briny Breezes, a beautiful oceanfront home where Miller would then enjoy a legacy of civil service. Today, the site is directly across the water from nearby communities like Tuscany on the Intracoastal. As a Boynton Beach resident, Miller started the chamber of commerce, helped charter the town, and served as the city's first vice-mayor.

john ashley portrait

John Ashley

Known as the last great American pirate, John Ashley was a rugged old-Florida bandit who skulked about the Florida Everglades and saltwater shipping lanes, hijacking rum shipments during Prohibition and robbing over $1 Million from over 40 banks. Ashley was stylized as "The Swamp Bandit" where he made his fortune operating from various hideouts, most notably in the Boynton Beach area. An expert trapper and outdoorsman, Ashley's legendary criminal career began with the murder of Desoto Tiger, a Seminole Trapper, and later through his expert raids of Bahamian rum runners, virtually shut down the illicit trade during the period - a true apex predator, who's career came to an untimely end at the hands of longtime rival and Palm Beach County Sheriff, George B. Baker.

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