143 13th Ave N 33701

Then and Now — 1931 & 2022143 13th Ave No

From 1931: “Of Spanish design, hollow tile construction, 4 bedrooms, 2 tile baths, 2 gorgeous porches, servants’ quarters, formal dining room, fireplace, living room, kitchen, breakfast nook, furnished.”

This house was built in 1920 and purchased in 1923 by William L. Straub (of Straub Park fame) who lived in it with his family until 1931 when he sold it to I.N. Bushong, a banker from Michigan.

William Lincoln Straub was born on June 14, 1867, in Dowagiac Michigan, the third of four children. Straub received his education in Michigan and soon after graduating entered the newspaper business. One of his first newspaper jobs was in the Dakota Territory, which was then in the throes of becoming North Dakota. In 1888 he became editor and owner of the Sargent County Rustler. It was during this time that he married Ms. Sarah Althea Moore, a school teacher, who was from his home town of Dowagiac (they lived on adjoining farms as children, and were childhood sweethearts). The wedding was held on November 23, 1891. They had one daughter, Blanche, born in 1895 (who would later marry Jay B. Starkey). Straub sold the Rustler in 1894 and purchased the Oakes Weekly Republican where he was associate editor. From 1895 – 1899 he was managing editor of the Grand Forks Daily Herald.

William, Blanche and Sarah

Straub suffered from bronchial problems and upon recommendation of his doctors relocated to St. Pete in 1900, for the better climate the Sunshine City offered. When they arrived in St. Pete the streets were still dirt, and the town was only a few blocks long. In the 1900 census Straub listed his occupation as “pineapple grower” (surprisingly this was a large industry in the area at that time), however on April 1, 1901, he became editor/owner and cartoonist of the St. Petersburg Weekly Times. In 1912, he organized the Times Publishing Company and established the Daily Times, and was editor except from 1916 – 1922, when he was St. Petersburg postmaster.

Some of the things that Straub worked for locally was the formation of Pinellas as a county (originally St. Pete was a part of Hillsborough County), the preservation of the waterfront area as a public park as well as the formation of a park system in the greater St. Pete area. He helped organize the Chamber of Commerce and served as president and helped organize the Yacht Club, among countless other endeavors.

William and Sarah purchased this house in 1924 and spent the next 7 years hosting many gala events at this residence.

William Lincoln Straub died on April 10, 1939, age 71. He is buried in Royal Palm South Cemetery in St. Pete. Sarah died just two months later (June 3, 1939), and is buried next to William.

As a side note of interest – this house became the parsonage for Congregational Church in 1945.

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