Frank L. Mayes

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Frank L. Mayes
Born December 16, 1873
Rockford, Illinois
Died February 1, 1915
Occupation Owner, editor
Pensacola Journal
Religion Presbyterian
Spouse Lois Kingsberry Mayes
Parents James and Jennie Mayes
Children Howard Lee Mayes
Charles Albert Mayes
Margarita Mayes
William K. Mayes

Frank L. Mayes was the longtime editor, and later owner, of the Pensacola Journal.


Mayes was born in Illinois to a farming family. In his youth, the family moved first to Iowa, and then to South Dakota, where they settled. He decided to pursue another line of work, and received an education at Dakota University. Mayes first came to Pensacola in 1896, and worked as a newspaper reporter for eighteen months before returning to South Dakota, where he became part owner of the Mitchell Gazette. In 1899, he married and returned to Pensacola, at which time he became editor of the Pensacola Journal. He later bought a controlling interest in The Journal Company. He also owned the Perdido Land Company. Mayes founded the Mayes Printing Company, which as of 2009 is still in business.[1]

Politically a Democrat, Mayes was active in political organizing. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1908, and that year organized a "Bryan and Kern" club.

In 1906 Mayes served as president of the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce. Mayes was a member of several social organizations, including the Osceola Club, the Knights of Pythias, and the Knights of the Macabees.

On September 3, 1911, accompanied by physician Dr. S. R. Mallory Kennedy (an accomplished long-distance and speed driver), and friends F. C. Brent, Jr. and A. M. Avery, Jr., Mayes left Pensacola on an 1149-mile "pathfinding" automobile trip to Chicago, IL. Funded by the Pensacola Commercial Club, Mayes wanted to attend the National Good Roads Federation conference in Chicago. His real purpose, however, was to publicize Pensacola as a tourist destination as well as to map for the AAA Blue Book (the premier road guide in the US at the time) the first motorcar route between Pensacola and Birmingham, AL. The party took 76 hours over 9 days to complete the trip through Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, arriving in Chicago "with Pensacola air in the tires."


Mayes died on February 1, 1915, in Pensacola. Listed cause of death was Facial Erysipelas complicated with Pleurisy. This was derived from an infected cut from a visit to the barber. Approximately 13 years later, the penicillin would be discovered that could have saved him. At the time of his death, he was also part owner of the Meridian Dispatch, a newspaper in Mississippi.


  1. Crane, Charlotte. "Florida's Oldest Private Companies: Survivors". Florida Trend. May 1, 2005.