The Greater North Miami Historical Society

 

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1926

1. Landowners incorporated under the name of "Town of Miami Shores".

NORTH MIAMI’S BIRTH ----- 1926

Thirty- eight out of the forty- seven registered voters, at the encouragement of developers Earl Irons and Arthur Griffing, showed up and voted to incorporate into a town on February 5, 1926. North Miami, between 1926 and 1931, was named "TOWN OF MIAMI SHORES", partially because its early eastern boundary was the Atlantic Ocean! The Town limits were: bounded on the South by Miami and Miami Beach, on the East by the Atlantic Ocean, on the West by 17th Avenue, and on the North by a line which approximates Golden Glades Drive or 166th Street. Incorporation moved costs from developers to residents and lot purchasers. Late in 1926 a bond issue of $287,000 was passed to build streets, sidewalks, a town hall, a water system, and fire protection

2. North Miami Police

Fighting rum runners, who found havens in the inlets of Biscayne Bay, tearing down illegal whisky “stills”, houses of prostitution, gambling and drunk and reckless drivers, were the biggest problems facing law enforcement, when South Florida gave birth to its newest town in 1926. It was the height of prohibition. On February 5, 1926 the town was formed with the approval of the majority of the city’s 49 registered voters. One of the town’s first official duties was to provide for law enforcement to its population of 3,000 people. Incorporated as the City of Miami Shores, it wasn’t until 1932, that the name was changed to North Miami. Mr. J.T. Williams was elected as the first town marshal, with the understanding he would only serve temporarily, at his request, since he was unable to spare sufficient time to manage his own business and the police department on a permanent basis.

On March 29, 1926, Clarence Alexander MacDonald was appointed as the town’s marshal after William’s resignation. Marshal MacDonald was also given the tasks of Fire Marshall and Tax Collector. He was paid $50 a week for his services. The first police station was built with bond monies approved by the voters in a referendum in November 1926. The building housing the police station, jail, fire station and water pumping plant was constructed at a cost of $94,000 and was built within a few feet from the current police headquarters building. Marshal MacDonald purchased the city’s first fire engine and set up the first motorcycle patrol to catch speeders. In addition to Marshal McDonald, the department only had one other officer, F.B. Potts who patrolled on a motorcycle with a sidecar.