Hillsboro Lighthouse Keepers



Primary Keepers:

Alfred A Berghell   Thomas Knight   Charles Seabrook   Benjamin Stone   Thomas Knight  Harlie Fleming   Warren Bennett   William King   Bryant Williams   John S Childs   Ernest Bryan   Clarence Miller   William Edelkamp   Frank Tucker   John Evdokimoff   Donald Thurston   Frank Warren   John Lloyd   John Rodgers   Donald Steerman   Donald Partridge   Luther Jacobson   Michael Sutton   Jerry Vosburgh   Thomas Golembeski   Mike Helms   Larry Jesse   David Sparkenbaugh   Roger Koger   Arthur Makenian  

1st Assistants:

Henry Keys  Thomas Albury  Clifton Lopez  Ramon Pinder  George Nauman  John Minges  Clarence Malloy  Reinhard Heisser  Jessie Powell  Guthrie Phelps  Clarence King  Benjamin Stone  Reinhard Heisser  Judge Isler 

2nd Assistants:

Robert Thompson  Austin Curry  Harvey Behringer   Michael Shanahan   Willie Sharit   John Corcoran   Lawrence Meyer   Joseph Davis   Frederick Munn   William McCreary   Joseph Davis   Robert Nivens   Jessie Powell   Dossy Davis   Judge Isler   David Swain   Blickler Sorensen  

Additional:

John Minges   Thomas Watts   Charles Sisson   David O'Hagan  


Click on the titles and names below to show or hide the details for that specific position or person.


Name: Samuel Alfred Alexander Berghell

Born: December 6, 1865, Vassa Finland

Died: February 20, 1939, Santa Monica, CA

Position: Principal Keeper

Operational Body: United States Light House Establishment

Dates of Service: March 7, 1907 - August 1, 1911

Previous Position: American Shoal, Keeper

Reason for departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • Did not go by Samuel, only Alfred.
  • Descended from Vikings.
  • Had to flee Finland the night of his graduation from Russian Naval School after defending the honor of a lady in a duel with a Russian Officer.
  • Was partially deaf due to illness.
  • Spent 15 days on American Shoal Lighthouse with Dengue fever before a rescue boat picked him up.
  • Was featured in a newspaper story that was seen by a Mary Gertrude Leverich, daughter of a wealthy family in NY, who then traveled to Key West to meet him. The couple married despite the objections of her family.
  • They had two sons and a daughter; Alfred Bayhard, Jr., Maria Ester (first child born at the Hillsboro Lighthouse Station) and Axel Cuthbert (also born at the Station).
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Name: Thomas Knight

Born: November 13, 1879, Cape Canaveral, Florida

Died: February 8, 1938, Pompano Beach, Florida

Position: Principal Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: August 1, 1911 - April 30, 1919, Returned October 15, 1919 - December 31, 1936

Previous Position: Cape Canaveral, 1st Assistant.

Reason For Departure: First departure was to Jupiter as he and his wife Fannie believed their children would receive a better education there. Finding the location not as desired, he and replacement Charles Seabrook, petitioned their Superintendent to be able to swap locations. Knight's second departure was due to retirement.

Notes:

  • Knight was the grandson of Mills Olcott Burnahm, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Keeper, and the son of James Knight, also a Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Keeper.
  • Knight married Fannie Gray and they had four children: Burnham Gray, Ellis Moore, Chauncy Richard and Mary Ella (Mary was also Thomas' mothers name, all born while Thomas was an Assistant Keeper at Cape Canaveral.
  • Knight rescued or aided over 20 vessels that either wrecked or were floundering, and at least 8 sea planes.
  • Knight earned several highly coveted Efficiency Stars, the Commissioner's Star for a clean and efficiency run Station, allowing him to fly the Lighthouse Ensign.
  • Converted part of his storehouse into a 1 room school house to ensure his children received a proper education. Knight visited the Superintendent of Public Education in Ft. Lauderdale, explained the situation and showed that they had nine children (Keeper's kids and kids from the fishing camp just inside the Inlet on the canal. Nine children was the minimum number before the State would have to provide a teacher). The teacher would stay one semester, living in the Knights cottage. The school ran from 1920 - 1925.
  • Rode out the hurricanes of 1924, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1932 & 1935 at the top of the lighthouse.
  • Was the brother of Eugene Theodore "Cap" Knight. Cap was the owner of the "Club Unique", but only he called it that. Everyone else knows it as "Cap's Place", which still serves food and drinks daily today. Legend has it that Thomas, a law-abiding and highly recognized Lighthouse Keeper, bent the rules for his brother Cap, who along with his wife Lola, would get illegal booze in the Bahamas during Prohibition. When the rum-runners would be approaching the Inlet, it's said that Thomas would flash a special light letting them know it was safe to return. Cap would promptly then sink the jugs in Lake Placid to hide them which were then sold at his restaurant, or by the trunk-load in Pompano.
  • Despite numerous ailments and frailty, Knight performed his duties until 1938. In his last year when the light was electrified occasionally the motor wouldn't have enough power to start the lens rotation (even though it floated on mercury). Nearly unable to climb the stairs, he'd give a child a penny to run up, and use a gentle push to begin the rotation.
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Name: Charles Seabrook

Born: November 6, 1883, Hardeeville, South Carolina

Died: 1952

Position: Principal Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: April 30, 1919 - October 15, 1919

Previous Position: Tybee Island, 1st Assistant.

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

Notes:

  • Was the Principal Keeper at Jupiter until 1946
  • Was married to Dorothea "Dora" Weikling the daughter of Keeper Johann Weikling. The Seabrooks had six children.
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Name: Thomas Knight

Born: November 13, 1879, Cape Canaveral, Florida

Died: February 8, 1938, Pompano Beach, Florida

Position: Principal Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: October 15, 1919 - December 31, 1936

Previous Position: Jupiter Inlet, Principal Keeper.

Reason For Departure: Retirement.

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Name: Benjamin Franklin Stone

Born: December 28, 1900, Titusville, Florida

Died: April 1945, Savannah, Georgia

Position: Principal Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service / United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: January 1, 1937 - October 31, 1941

Previous Position: Cape Canaveral, 1st Assistant.

Reason For Departure: Forcibly retired due to health issues.

Notes:

  • Franklin Everett Stone (Bens father) was the first Post Master of Ponce Park, Fl.
  • He was the 2nd Assistant at Mosquito (Ponce) Inlet lighthouse when Joseph B. Davis was the 1st Assistant. Davis was a former Hillsboro Assistant and suffered a heart attack while climbing the stairs at Mosquito. Stone was the first to find Davis, sadly, dead.
  • Stone married Annie Jane Dowling. Their first child, Frederick Everett was born at Hillsboro during Stone's first tenure in 1925. Their other children were Benjamin Franklin, Jr., George Gray and Harriet Jane.
  • Annie was from Nahunta, Georgia and returned there when Ben was first assigned to Hillsboro. She brought her sister, Minnie Mae, out of a bad situation in Georgia to Hillsboro where she could attend the lighthouse school. Minnie would stay behind when the Stones departed and would marry Burnham Knight.
  • Stone was the Keeper when the Reorganization Act of 1939 went into effect as the United States Lighthouse Service was disbanded and all lighthouses and lightships were placed under the United States Coast Guard. Keepers could remain on as civilians (and retire at age 70), or could join the Coast Guard for better pay and benefits. Stone joined.
  • Stone liked to race speed boats as there were races in the canal then.
  • The Stones transferred from Cape Canaveral lighthouse, where Ben was the 1st Assistant. When they moved to Hillsboro, they brought with the family pet, Joe, a fully grown alligator. Joe had his own pen on the Station grounds, quickly becoming a local celebrity. When Stone was retired, Joe was moved to an nearby alligator farm.
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Name: Harlie Fleming BM1

Born: November 2, 1905, North Carolina

Died: June 17, 1983, Sugarloaf Shores, Florida

Position: Officer in Charge (OIC)(Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: October 20, 1941 - November 21, 1941

Previous Position: Ft. Lauderdale.

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Ft. Lauderdale

Notes:

  • Married to Lorie Lowe.
  • Nicknamed Pinky.
  • Joined the Pompano Police Department after serving in the USCG.
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Name: Warren Bennett CMM

Born: August 30, 1910, Palatka, Florida

Died: August 25, 1980, Pompano Beach, Florida

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: November 11, 1941 - October 1, 1949

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Norfolk, VA

Notes:

  • Was married and had two daughters, Lonnie and Mary Anne
  • Warren was recuperating in a hospital when Vice Admiral Russell Waesche inquired if Bennett would like temporary duty at the lighthouse. He thought it would be an easy job. During his tenure, World War II broke out, he easily had several hundred men rotate through the Station, was also in charge of ensuring all weapons were accounted for, taught daily lessons, had lookout tower crews, was temporarily in charge of the mounted beach patrol, had to run security for Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill while they were staying at the Hillsboro Mile home US Secretary of State Edward Stettinius in January, 1942.
  • Awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Medal after rescuing several people from drowning.
  • Rode out hurricanes in 1947 and 1948 in the lighthouse.
  • Retired from the USCG in 1952, serving 17 years.
  • After his service, Bennett and Ralph Troup formed the Bennet-Troup Marine Construction Co. in Pompano.
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Name: William T. King BM1

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: October 1, 1949 - June 17, 1951

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure:Unknown

Notes:

  • Nothing is known about King at this time.
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Name: Bryant Joseph Williams BM1

Born: 1921, Worthington Springs, California

Died: December 17, 2002 Gainesville, Florida

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: June 18, 1951 - February 5, 1952

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Cutter Poinciana in Miami, FL

Notes:

  • Married to Rosemary Williams. They had three sons and one daughter.
  • Served 27 years in the USCG.
  • Death result of an automobile accident.
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Name: John S. Childs, Jr. BM1

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: February 5, 1954 - July 8, 1954

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Unknown

Notes:

  • Nothing is known about Childs at this time.
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Name: Ernest V. Bryan BM1

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: July 8, 1954 - September 20, 1954

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Unknown

Notes:

  • Nothing is known about Bryan at this time.
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Name: Clarence L. Miller BM1

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: September 20, 1954 - January 2, 1956

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transfer

Notes:

  • Nicknamed "Bob"
  • Was married and had two children. Daughter Ann is the only name we know.
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Name: William A. Edelkamp BM1

Born: 1927

Died: 2020

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: January 2, 1956 - August 31, 1957 (approximated)

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Unknown

Notes:

  • Nothing is currently known about Edelkamp.
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Name: Frank Tucker BM2

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: September 1, 1957 - December 31, 1959 (dates approximated)

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Unknown

Notes:

  • Wife's name was Audrey.
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Name: John D. Evdokimoff, Jr. BM1

Born: 1919

Died: 1993

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: (approximated start date) December 31, 1959 - May 20, 1961

Previous Position: Crash boat, Miami Beach, Fl

Reason For Departure: Transfer to New London, CT

Notes:

  • Worked on ice breakers in Alaska. He was so proficient, that superiors took an extra day to return to port, ensuring John missed his next assignment and stay aboard with them.
  • Stood 6'8" compared to his wife, Loretta Williams, who was only 5' tall.
  • He and stepson Tim Williams rode out Hurricane Donna at the top of the lighthouse. They first were in their cottage, but John figured the 1906 structure wouldn't stand. He had tiled a line from their back door to the radio building, and from there to the tower. The duo used the line to help make it to the building. Once there, a call from USCG Base Miami called that the weather station at the top of the lighthouse was down. John and Tim, then used the line to guide them to the lighthouse. They had to keep their eyes closed as they were sandblasted all the way. Once at the top, Tim stood at the base of the ladder on the gallery, handing tools to John who climbed to the Lantern parapet and fixed the station as hurricane force winds were pelting him.
  • John earned the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer
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Name: Donald Fred Thurston BM2

Born: November 27, 1934, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Died: December 19, 2013, Kentucky

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: May 20, 1961 - March 23, 1963

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Northern Michigan

Notes:

  • Arrived with wife Hermaline (Godfrey), kids Vicki and Donald Jr. and dogs Beaver & Rebel.
  • When they transferred, Beaver and Rebel were left behind. Over time the Keepers lost track of who brought them until the Thurston's made a quick visit on their way to their next Station. Rebel had been put to sleep, but Beaver remembered the children. Beaver was so beloved that even members of the Hillsboro Club helped pay vet bills after he was struck by a car.
  • Beaver lived 15 years at the lighthouse and is memorialized with a plaque on the Station grounds.
  • Donald earned the rank of Chief Warrant Officer.
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Name: Frank Warren BM1

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: March 23, 1963 - February 1, 1966

Previous Position: Southwest Harbor lighthouse, MA

Reason For Departure: Transfer

Notes:

  • Joined the Coast Guard at age 16
  • Was married and had two daughters
  • After retiring from the USCG, he returned to be a communications officer with Hillsboro Beach Police Department.
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Name: John David Lloyd BM1

Born: January 18, 1939, London, England

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: February 1, 1966 - July 9, 1968

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Point Thatcher

Notes:

  • Survived the London Blitz, and was even in a building that was hit by a bomb.
  • John's family emigrated to the U.S. His father came over first. When John came, he was the youngest person (7 years old) to fly Pan Am unaccompanied across the Atlantic.
  • Married Marilyn Sheppard Tingle. Together they had three sons, David, Robert and Randy. The latter two were born at Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale.
  • Restored a Chris Craft in the Station garage.
  • Coached David's Little League team in Pompano.
  • Was very welcoming to visitors to the Station. Was OIC when part of the movie Wild Rebels was filmed in the lighthouse whose star, Steve Alaimo also performed on Dick Clark's "Where The Action Is", musical variety show, also filmed on the lighthouse grounds.
  • Became a police office after his Coast Guard career.
  • John's ashes were spread in the water just off the lighthouse.
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Name: John Thomas Rodgers BM1

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: July 9, 1968 - June 4, 1969

Previous Position: Loggerhead lighthouse

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Miami

Notes:

  • Was married and had one daughter.
  • Served at four lighthouses: Wood Island, ME, Sullivan's Island, SC, Loggerhead, Fl and Hillsboro Inlet, FL
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Name: Donald Horton Steerman BM1

Born: February 13, 1942, Atlanta, Georgia

Died: July 22, 2008, Atlanta, Georgia

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: June 5, 1969 - 1972

Previous Position: Miami, Fl

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Maine

Notes:

  • Married Sarah Dilbeck and they had two sons, Mark and Clint (who was born during their time at Hillsboro).
  • Brought family dog Droopy, a bloodhound, who quickly befriended Beaver. Beaver had been given a nickname at Base Miami, "Chief". When inspection at the Station came up, the inspecting officer inquired why "Chief" Beaver wasn't on the official roll; also, he had orders for Beaver. When Steerman called Beaver to attention, the dutiful hound ran up. The only person who didn't realize Beaver was a dog was the inspector, making the joke all the funnier to the men.
  • Moved back to Atlanta after his service where he went into home construction & remodeling.
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Name: Donald Wayne Partridge BM1

Born: August 26, 1936, Adrian, Michigan

Died: August 22, 1998, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: 1972 - April 1, 1978

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Retirement

Notes:

  • Wife, Donna. They had three children.
  • Erected a memorial to Beaver when he passed away.
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Name: Luther M. Jacobson BM1

Born: Minnesota

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: April 1, 1978 - 1981

Previous Position: Governor's Island, NY

Reason For Departure: Transfer

Notes:

  • Nickname "Jake".
  • Wife Margaret was from Ireland.
  • Was stationed at a lighthouse in Rhode Island
  • Self-professed landlubber.
  • Was OIC when people fleeing Haiti sadly drown. Thirty-three bodies washed up on shore of Hillsboro Beach.
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Name: Michael B. Sutton P.O.

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service:1981 - 1984

Previous Position: Ice Breaker Northwind

Reason For Departure: Transfer back to Ice Breaker Northwind

Notes:

  • From Jacksonville, FL
  • Wife Mary was a landscape architect student at Broward Community College & is responsible for saving the palm trees from a deadly disease. She was also the one who planted much of the shrubbery around the reservation.
  • They had two dogs, a Spitz collie named Kasheena and an Labrador elkhound named Angel.
  • It was during this time that the Station also had an unofficial mascot. A rather large (tubby)orange-striped friendly stray cat named Charlie Aardvark Hillsboro.
  • Residents of the condo across the Inlet began complaining of the light at night flooding their bedrooms. A piece of sheet metal was installed in the Lantern to block the light, angering the rest of the neighborhood.
  • Mike was a national champion wind-surfer who loved to be able to do it to the south of the Inlet. He continued to surf at his next location, in the waters of Greenland.
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Name: Jerry Stephen Vosburgh P

Born: 1955, Maryland

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: 1984 - May 28, 1986

Previous Position: Cutter Dauntless

Reason For Departure: Transfer

Notes:

  • Wife's name was Linda
  • Was appointed due to the skills he developed in his service. The lighthouse was in need of restoration and replacement of tension rods, making him qualified to oversee the work.
  • Is responsible for the fog bell on the Station grounds. He was doing some welding work in Jacksonville just prior to taking over and found the bell in a scrap yard. Bribing the USCG truck drive with a case of coffee, the bell made to Miami, and then Hillsboro. It was never a functional fog bell at Hillsboro.
  • Jerry did a lot of restoration work on the garage, keeping in line with the guidelines of historical accuracy.
  • With the best available knowledge at the time, he commissioned the plaque with the Principal Keeper's names (not all correct) that is on the concrete marker next to the fog bell.
  • Despite several requests to his superiors to open the Station for one Sunday a month for tours in which the Sea Scouts would act as guides, he was denied.
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Name: Thomas Michael Golembeski Chief Quartermaster

Born: May 16, 1939 Jersey City, NJ

Died: February 13, 2017

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: May 28, 1986 - June 12, 1989

Previous Position: Miami

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Guam

Notes:

  • Arrived with wife, Barbara Patricia Daniels, son Thomas Michael, Jr., daughter Stacey and son Joe. Like all the new arrivals were immediately greeted by Charlie Aardvark Hillsboro.
  • Prior to his Hillsboro service he became an instructor at the Search & Rescue (SAR) school. On a flight to England for a meeting, he devised a grid system for navigating the North Sea. He presented the system to the group who immediately adopted it, and still use today.
  • Thomas loved the historical significance of the Station. He did much restoration work to the cottages and kept everything in a pristine state.
  • Thomas built the gazebo, a covered dining patio, the concrete wall to hide the garbage dumpster and oversaw the building of the dock.
  • He put in a 4 x 6 post for a basketball hoop, which was destroyed before the concrete set. A waterspout came ashore and ran right between the cottage and garage, snapping the post off at the base. Thomas was in the Radio Building, Joe was on a couch in the house, Barbara was cleaning the kitchen of the other house. Each came within 30 feet of the twisting winds.
  • Stacey was married on the Station grounds. The torrential rain fall held off until the ceremony ended and guests made it to the safety of the cabana shelter of the Hillsboro Club.
  • Thomas awarded: the Commandant's Letter of Commendation with one Gold Star; USCG Meritorious Unit Commendation with OBE; Gold Star National Defense Medal with one Bronze Star; Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon; Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon; Second Coast Guard Achievement Medal; Fifth Coast Guard Good Conduct Award; Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendations; Coast Guard Special Operation service ribbon; Coast Guard Commendation Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal
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Name: Michael D. Helms

Born: September 23, 1957

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: June 12, 1989 - July 1992

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure:

Notes:

  • Was allowed to perform special tours for elementary schools, except access to the tower was denied.
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Name: Larry G. Jesse PO3

Born: Nebraska

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: July 1992 - July 1997

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure:

Notes:

  • Wife Gina Rae Olson, son Trevor
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Name: David Lee Sparkenbaugh PO2

Born: July 30, 1963

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: July 1997 - January 6, 1998

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure:

Notes:

  • Nothing is currently known about him.
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Name: Roger H. Koger

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: January 6, 1998 - August 1998

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure:

Notes:

  • Nothing is currently known about him.
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Name: Arthur Makenian COTR

Born:

Died:

Position: OIC (Keeper)

Operational Body: United States Coast Guard

Dates of Service: December 1998 - March 2002

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Retired

Notes:

  • Born in Egypt to an Armenian family and learned Greek, English, Italian, French and various Arabic languages.
  • Worked for Pan Am for 18 years in Flight Operations, Maintenance & Engineering. Later he worked for General Electric with responsibilities in Europe and the Middle East.
  • Was named Keeper to oversee the restoration work of the lighthouse and the new ball bearing system the lens would rotate upon.
  • Was a founding member and later President of the H.L.P.S.
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Name: Henry Augustus Keys

Born: October 20, 1865 Key West, Florida

Died: 1941

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Light House Establishment

Dates of Service: March 8, 1907 - March 18, 1908

Previous Position: 2nd Assistant, Loggerhead Key

Reason For Departure: Unknown, possibly resigned

Notes:

  • Wife Clarinda Camalier Weatherford, Sons Gerald and Frederick C.
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Name: Thomas Eldridge Albury

Born: May 11, 1875 Hope Town, Bahamas

Died: February 9, 1919, Tampa, Fl

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Establishment

Dates of Service: March 25, 1908 - February 7, 1909

Previous Position: 1st Assistant, Sand Key

Reason For Departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • Wife Anita Camus, daughter Alice
  • While visiting her father in the Watch Room, Alice had her hand mangled between the massive gears of the Fresnel lens rotating mechanism.
  • Thomas was only 43 when he died. Anita was only 37 when she passed.
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Name: Clifton Harry Lopez

Born: December 25, 1887 Key West, Florida

Died: 1958

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Establishment

Dates of Service: March 6, 1909 - September 7, 1909

Previous Position: 2nd Assistant, Rebecca Shoal

Reason For Departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • Family lived in Key West where his father was a trolly conductor.
  • One of his younger brothers came to visit. They got into an argument and Clifton shot 3 times at his brother, fortunately missing him. Keeper Berghell ordered his brother to leave and Clifton asked to accompany him back to Key West. Clifton wrote to Berghell that he was resigning his position effective immediately.
  • Despite his departure, Clifton was later allowed back in the Service and had a stellar career. The family living in Key West, where the District Inspector was located, probably had a lot to do with his return to the Service. Clifton married Effie May Newland and they retired to her hometown of Hoxie, Kansas.
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Name: Ramon Pinder

Born: 1875

Died: 1959

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Establishment

Dates of Service: September 16, 1909 - September 17, 1910

Previous Position: 2nd Assistant, Sand Key

Reason For Departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • Wife Emily Rose Newbold, adopted daughter Jessie Adele(Newbold).
  • Ramon was the grandfather of Dr. Raymond McAllister, a founding member of the H.L.P.S.
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Name: George Burnham Nauman

Born: March 10, 1874, Cape Canaveral, Fl

Died: December 7,1949 Allenhurst, Fl (no longer exists as it is part of the Kennedy Space Center now)

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: October 20, 1910 - February 12, 1916

Previous Position: 2nd Assistant, Jupiter Inlet

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Mosquito (Ponce) Inlet

Notes:

  • Grandson of Mills Olcott Burnham, Keeper of Cape Canaveral
  • Cousin of Thomas Knight
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Name: John Henry Minges

Born: December 2, 1876

Died: July 6, 1946

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: February 18, 1916 - April 25, 1917

Previous Position: 1st Assistant, Tybee Knoll Cut

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Charleston, SC Depot

Notes:

  • Returned in 1920 short term as an Additional Keeper
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Name: Clarence Malloy

Born: April 22, 1878

Died: March 9, 1942

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: June 26, 1917 - December 18, 1918

Previous Position: Unknown

Reason For Departure: Transfer to St. Augustine

Notes:

  • Wife Agnes Masters, daughter Mary Eloise was born during their time in Hillsboro
  • Was missing part of 2 fingers
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Name: Reinhard Heisser

Born: June 8, 1887, Charleston, SC

Died: 1966

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: January 22, 1919 - November 11, 1919

Previous Position: 1st Assistant, Jupiter Inlet

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Mosquito (Ponce) Inlet

Notes:

  • Wife Ruth, daughter Catherine, son Reinhard, Jr. & daughter Louise
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Name: Jessie E. Powell

Born:

Died:

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: November 11, 1919 - September 16, 1920

Previous Position: 2nd Assistant, Hillsboro Inlet

Reason For Departure: Unknown

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: May 11, 1919 - November 11, 1919

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Promotion to 1st Assistant

Notes:

  • Second wife named Clyde Missouri Gause. His first wife died possibly due to childbirth complications. They had five children. He had two more sons with Clyde.
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Name: Guthrie Phelps

Born: Lockwoods Folly, NC

Died: February 4, 1969

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: October 29, 1920 - July 4, 1923

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transfer to St. Augustine

Notes:

  • Nickname: Gus
  • Married Mary Marvel Leonard, a Davie, FL native and school teacher.
  • After retiring from the Lighthouse Service, they moved to Ft. Lauderdale where he opened the Phelps Cabinet Shop out of the home he built.
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Name: Clarence W. King

Born: 1895, Georgia

Died:

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: July 17, 1923 - April 30, 1924

Previous Position: 1st Assistant, Jupiter Inlet

Reason For Departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • Wife Bessie Fitzgerald, children Clarence, Jr. & Kathleen were also joined by Clarence's brother "Big Johnny" King. John King would stay in the area becoming a charter captain, joined the Coast Guard and returned to be a Pilot Boat Captain at Port Everglades.
  • His sister, Mamie Ashmead King, was married to Dossy Morris Davis 2nd Assistant at Hillsboro.
  • After resigning, he joined the Ft. Lauderdale Fire Department, being Chief on two occasions. He worked with Ellis Knight in the Fire Department.
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Name: Benjamin Franklin Stone

Born: December 28, 1900, Titusville, Florida

Died: April 1945, Savannah, Georgia

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: May 29, 1924 - February 15, 1926

Previous Position: Lighthouse Tender Water Lily

Reason For Departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • After resigning in 1926 to work in Pompano trying to earn more money, he quickly returned after the second departure of Reinhard Heisser, until an Additional Keeper could arrive (April 14 - April 30, 1926).
  • For additional notes see his entry above.
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Name: Reinhard Heisser

Born: June 8, 1887, Charleston, SC

Died: 1966

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: April 1, 1926 - April 4, 1926

Previous Position: 1st Assistant, Mosquito (Ponce) Inlet

Reason For Departure: Dismissed or Removed

Notes:

  • For additional notes see listing above.
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Name: Judson Becton Isler

Born: June 6, 1870 Morgan, Georgia

Died: October 24, 1957, Savannah, GA

Position: 1st Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: November 23, 1926 - July 22, 1939

Previous Position: 1st Assistant, Hillsboro Inlet

Reason For Departure: Retired

Notes:

  • Nickname: Judge
  • Wife Marian Louise Cranford. Their children: Zora, Luther were already born upon their arrival. During their stay they welcomed daughters Irene L., Ruth Cranford, and son George.
  • Was the longest serving Assistant at Hillsboro.
  • Rode out the hurricanes in the lighthouse along with Thomas Knight; keeping the light going.
  • Retired in 1939 due to the Reorganization Act that placed lighthouses under the direction of the Coast Guard. A mandatory retirement at age 70 was now in place; an age he was one month from becoming.
  • He was the last Assistant Keeper at the lighthouse.
  • Is buried close to friends the Knight's in Pompano Beach, FL.
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Name: Robert Hamilton Thompson

Born: July 31, 1842, Nassau, Bahamas

Died: October 11, 1923, Coconut Grove, FL

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Light House Establishment

Dates of Service: March 7, 1907 - May 31, 1908

Previous Position: 2nd Assistant, Fowey Rocks

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Fowey Rocks

Notes:

  • Began his lighthouse career in a British lighthouse in the Bahamas before coming to America.
  • Served at several Florida lights as a Principal, or 1st Assistant Keeper prior to coming to Hillsboro.
  • Nickname: Uncle Bob in his later life.
  • Married Julia Ann Frow, daughter and sister of lighthouse keepers at Cape Florida/Fowey Rocks. They had nine children: Robert W., Jr., George Washington, Charles Harrison, James Standhope, Harry, Idell, Verbina, Jefferson Brown, Ella May & Lucile.
  • Was remembered for his kindness, sympathy, generosity, faith, good humor, sharp mind, bravery and devoted family-man and friend.
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Name: Samuel Robert Austin Curry

Born: May 24, 1874, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas

Died: 1947

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Light House Establishment

Dates of Service: June 12, 1908 - June 21, 1909

Previous Position: 2nd Assistant, Fowey Rocks

Reason For Departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • Went by the name Austin.
  • Married to Ella Mae Russell, they had eight children. Their first son Thompson died when he was young. The other children's names we know are Leiah Mae, Benjamin Reginald, Lillian Lenora and their last child was also named Thompson.
  • He spoke with a thick Scottish accent and was known as an impatient man with a firey temper. His wife had a temper herself.
  • Was brother-in-law with 1st Assistant Ramon Pinder.
  • Resigned to earn more money, becoming a carpenter in Miami, FL
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Name: Harvey E. Behringer

Born:

Died:

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Establishment

Dates of Service: July 10, 1909 - March 31, 1910

Previous Position: 2nd Assistant, Carysfort Reef

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Pensacola

Notes:

  • Wife, Mary E. Darby, son born in 1923.
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Name: Michael L. Shanahan

Born:

Died:

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: March 31, 1910 - July 8, 1910

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Alligator Reef

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Name: Willie Marshall Sharit

Born: July 20, 1875, Apalachicola, FL

Died: 1959

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: July 8, 1910 - May 7, 1911

Previous Position: 2nd Assistant, Alligator Reef

Reason For Departure: Deserted & Dismissed

Notes:

  • According to his 1918 draft card, he was missing half of jaw bone on right side. No explanation why.
  • His older brother was an Assistant Keeper at Charlotte Harbor
  • He was a disruption to the Station
  • He deserted the Station knowing that he was going to be dismissed from the Service.
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Name: John T. Corcoran

Born:

Died:

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: July 15, 1911 - September 23, 1911

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transfer to Cape Romain, SC

Notes:

  • Was married, but we know nothing about John's life.
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Name: Lawrence F. Meyer

Born:

Died:

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: December 3, 1911 - December 19, 1912

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • Nothing is currently known about Lawrence.
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Name: Joseph Burrell Davis

Born:

Died:

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: January 12, 1913 - January 21, 1914

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Resigned, but soon rejoined Service as 2nd Assistant at Jupiter Inlet.

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Name: Frederick W. Munn

Born: 1888, Awendaw, South Carolina

Died: August 1, 1966 Fulton, GA

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service:

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure:

Notes:

  • Wife Merie Amanda, they had four children
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Name: William Edwin McCreary

Born: September 1, 1893, Cedar Keys, FL

Died:

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service:August 7, 1916 - December 21, 1916

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • Wife Mary Ryan, infant daughter Thelma, son William born while at Hillsboro.
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Name: Joseph Burrell Davis

Born:

Died: 1919

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: January 11, 1917 - November 25, 1918

Previous Position: Jupiter Inlet

Reason For Departure: Promotion to 1st Assistant At Mosquito (Ponce) Inlet, FL

Notes:

  • Wife Bessie L. Marot
  • Joseph and future Hillsboro Assistant (and later Primary) Keeper Ben Stone worked together at Mosquito. Davis would have a heart attack while climbing the tower and was found dead by Stone.
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Name: Robert Nivens

Born: 1872, Edinburgh, Scotland

Died:

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: December 17, 1918 - May 10, 1919

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Resigned

Notes:

  • Though he resigned, he remained in Pompano as a commercial fisherman.
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Name: Jessie E. Powell

Born:

Died:

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: May 11, 1919 - November 20, 1919

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Promoted to 1st Assistant, Hillsboro Inlet, Fl

Notes:

  • See notes in listing as 1st Assistant.
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Name: Dossy Morris Davis

Born: June 5, 1892

Died:

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: November 20, 1919 - October 31, 1920

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transfer to St. Augustine

Notes:

  • Wife Mamie Ashmead King would give birth to daughter Violet at Hillsboro. She also had a son from a previous marriage, Edward Cook.
  • Mamie was the sister of future 1st Assistant Clarence W. King.
  • Davis was a fruit packer in Pompano prior to his start as a Keeper.
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Name: Judson Becton Isler

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: November 4, 1920 - November 23, 1926

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Promoted to 1st Assistant, Hillsboro Inlet, FL

Notes:

  • See notes above under 1st Assistant
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Name: David Wilson Swain

Born: 1897, North Carolina

Died: 1976

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: November 23, 1926 - October 14, 1931

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Promoted to 1st Assistant, Hunting Island, SC

Notes:

  • Wife Mary Etta Dosher, daughter Jacqueline, daughter born at Hillsboro named Carrie Louise
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Name: Blicker Bartaline Sorensen

Born: June 22, 1890, Southport, South Carolina

Died: 1973

Position: 2nd Assistant Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service:

Previous Position:

Reason For Departure: Transferred to 3rd Assistant at South Pass Jetty, LA

Notes:

  • Wife Molly Jones, they had seven children, two of which died days after their birth.
  • Nickname: BB, he hated his name
  • Holds the distinction as the last 2nd Assistant Keeper at Hillsboro. The position was eliminated after the electrification of the lighthouse proved reliable.
  • He was also the last civilian Assistant Keeper at Cape San Blas, FL when the position was eliminated in 1942.
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Additional Keepers

Additional Keepers were sent as a temporary assistant for various reasons.


Name: John Henry Minges

Position: Additional Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: October 3, 1920 - November 1, 1920

Notes:

  • Was previously an Assistant at Hillsboro.
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Name: Thomas H. Watts

Position: Additional Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: April 30, 1926 - November 1, 1920

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Name: Charles Sisson

Position: Additional Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: August 5, 1930 - Date Unknown

Notes:

  • He was the sole Keeper at St. John's River, FL from 1926 to the discontinuance of the lighthouse on May 5, 1930.
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Name: David Cowie O'Hagan

Position: Additional Keeper

Operational Body: United States Lighthouse Service

Dates of Service: July 31, 1934 - August 16, 1934

Dates of Service: April 18, 1935 - June 1, 1935

Dates of Service: June 11, 1935 - September 14, 1935

Dates of Service: June 30 - 1936 - Date Unknown

Notes:

  • O'Hagan came from a lighthouse keeping family. He was positioned at Ponce Inlet and would travel down during the latter careers of Knight & Isler to help paint the lighthouse.
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