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What's in a name?

Son, avenue share first names

An attorney who founded West Tampa named streets after the first names of his family.

By MICHAEL CANNING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 22, 2003

Hugh Macfarlane must have been an informal kind of guy. Or shrewd. Probably both.

As founder of West Tampa, a cigar town established in 1895, he took the liberty to name some of its streets after his family members. To avoid having multiple roads named Macfarlane, he used their first names.

Frances Street, renamed Albany Avenue when Tampa annexed the area in 1925, honored his wife. Howard Avenue was named after his son.

Howard Macfarlane was born to Hugh and Frances in Tampa in 1888. He attended prep school in Peekskill, N.Y. and received a bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1911. He earned a law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1913.

That same year he was appointed city attorney of West Tampa. He held the post until 1925, except for a stint with the Army during World War I. In 1918, before stepping down as city attorney, Macfarlane joined his father's law firm of Macfarlane and Pettingill, where he worked for decades.

He died in September 1967 at age 79.

His son, Hugh Macfarlane II, followed in his father's footsteps, working in the law firm his grandfather founded, today called Macfarlane Ferguson and McMullen. Now 85 and retired, he remembers his father as a fine man. "It would be hard to have a father who better supported his son and his activities through childhood and early adulthood," he said.

Today, the southernmost mile and a half of S Howard Avenue, stretching from Platt Street to Bayshore Boulevard, is widely referred to as SoHo and Tampa's restaurant row.

- Sources: Hugh Macfarlane II and E.J. Salcines.

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