Then and Now — 1935 & 2023 — 626 16th Ave NE
From 1935: “Residence built by P.M. Murphy (of Schooley-Murphy fame) during the summer of 1935. Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Foley bought this house after being in town just three days. Modern in all respects, this English type bungalow achieves exceptional architectural effect with its high hipped roof and long valleys, and represents the last word in up-to-date housing. Mr. Foley paid cash for the transaction.”
Edward H. Foley was born New Years Day 1865 in Syracuse NY, the 2nd of 4 children. His father was a farmer. Edward received his schooling in Syracuse and at age 16 began working as a laborer on his father’s farm. In 1885, at age 20, Edward left his father’s farm and started work at the Limestone Supply Division of the Solvay Process Co. (Syracuse). In about 1891, Edward married a young girl named Katharine. Records aren’t clear but it appears that Katharine died about 1899 (she is listed as “wife” on the family headstone with a birthdate of 1873, but no date of death). Edward was married again in 1902 to Ms. Josephine Mullin (born 1879) who was living in Syracuse, her father was the local mortician. The couple had three children, Virginia (1904), Edward Jr. (1905) and Katharine (1907) – was she named after Edward’s first wife? Could be.
By 1910 Edward had worked his way up to Foreman at the Limestone Quarry and was settling into a comfortable life with his wife and three young children in Syracuse. By 1920 he had risen to Superintendent of the Solvay Processing Co. and their Limestone Quarry.
Edward finally retired from Solvay Processing Co. in 1925 after 40 years of service, he was 60 years old. The children were now grown and had started out on their own, leaving Edward and Josephine to consider how they would spend their retirement. Edward had heard many wonderful things about the Sunshine City, which in 1925, was in full boom-time glory.
Edward and Josephine began spending their winters here in St. Pete and by 1935 decided that they would purchase a house here rather than renting each winter. They found this new featured home just to their liking and Edward wasted no time (being in town just three days) with the purchase, paying cash.
Edward and Josephine kept busy in social activities while wintering in St. Pete. Edward was a member of the Knights of Columbus (Syracuse), Elks, Onondaga Golf & Country Club (NY). Locally he and Josephine were members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Bahama Shores Yacht Club.
Edward died on December 5, 1950, at age 85. Although there was a family plot in Syracuse, records show that Edward was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Pete. Josephine died on August 3, 1963, and was buried next to Edward.
As an interesting side note, their son Edward Jr. was undersecretary of the Treasury Department during the Truman administration and had visited at this featured home many times during his parents stays in St. Pete.
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