710 8th St N 33701

Then and Now — 1935 & 2022 — 710 8th Street N

From 1935: “This 4-room bungalow, completely furnished. Consisting of front screened porch, large living room, 2 very large bedrooms, dining room and kitchen combined, rear open porch and bath. Close-in, walking distance of shuffleboard courts, churches, theaters, and the shopping district. $3,500.”

This house was built in 1920 and the original owners were James and Elizabeth Silvey.

James Edward Silvey was born on May 7, 1868, in Versailles, Mo., the 5th of 8 children, his father was a farmer. James was schooled in Versailles and upon graduating High School took a job as a clerk in the grocery store. James set his mind to learning the grocery business and was soon on his way to owning his own business.

On May 20, 1891, James married Ms. Elizabeth Ora Campbell who was then 15 years old, the marriage had the consent Elizabeth’s father, who was also a farmer near Versailles and was feeding 12 children.

James and Elizabeth had three children, Mabel (1893), Clarice (1897) and Albert (1901). In 1913 James and Elizabeth left Missouri and moved to St. Pete where James took a job as manager of Star Grocery at 18 2nd St No. (in the Detroit Hotel Building). By 1919 James opened his own grocery store at 665 Central Ave which he named ‘Pioneer Grocerteria’, the city’s first self-service market.

James served as director of the YMCA when the Spanish style building was built in 1926. He also served as a deacon and Sunday School superintendent of the Old Baptist Temple and was a charter member of Fifth Avenue Baptist Church. He was also an active Freemason and member of St. Pete Masonic Lodge No. 139.

On May 19, 1956, James and Elizabeth’s children surprised them with a 65th Wedding Anniversary party which was attended by their three children, 11 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

James died on May 23, 1960, at age 92. Elizabeth lived ten more years until her passing on October 12, 1970, she was 93.

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