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Home exemplifies prairie-style

The Newport Avenue structure bears the name of Henry Leiman, an entrepreneur and civic leader at the turn of the century.

By MICHAEL CANNING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 31, 2002

Cigar boxes built what some consider to be Tampa's finest example of prairie architecture.

Henry Leiman moved to Tampa in 1894 to open a branch for the William Wicke Company, then successors to the Ybor City Box Co. In 1902, he and son-in-law Roland Wilson bought the company. Before long, it was renamed the Tampa Cigar Box Co. and became the largest of its kind in the world.

Leiman had his house designed by prominent Tampa architects B.C. Bonfoey and M. Leo Elliot. Built in 1916, the private home still sits resplendent at 716 S Newport Ave. It's sometimes referred to as the Leiman-Wilson house, in recognition of his son-in-law.

New York City-born Leiman had a formidable civic profile here. Among other things, he was a member of the Tampa Board of Trade, Rotary International and the golf clubs of Palma Ceia and Rocky Point. He was a director of Citizens Bank and Trust Company. He died in 1931 at 74.

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