Henry B. Plant Museum.
Kate Victoria Jackson
An environmentalist before that word was coined, Kate Jackson made many contributions to Tampa. At a time when women could not vote, she led the lobbying for essential public services.
Parks and playgrounds were her biggest achievement, and the Tampa Civic Association, which she founded in 1910, was a major factor in creating the city's first water and sewage system. This sanitation was key to preventing yellow fever epidemics that had plagued the area.
She was born in Tampa to Irish immigrants who had arrived in 1847. Because Tampa had no good schools at the time, she was educated in a Key West Catholic institution; this led her to recruit the nuns who built the Academy of the Holy Names in the 1870's. An astute businesswoman, she also was a generous philanthropist. Jackson's influence was statewide, especially via the General Federation of Women's Clubs, which was the first organization to preserve the Florida Everglades.Although I spent my youth in Tampa, I had never heard of Kate Jackson. Her contributions to the city's history, though, rivaled those of H.B. Plant.