West Tampa Factory & History Time-line

1911 -1925

During this time the city growth was remarkable specially with the continuos relocation of new manufacturers, and residents. By the middle of 1910 a major strike will affect the cigar industry, and incidents of violence, and property damaged will marked the industry forever.

Click years to see different time lines... ...........

Seal of West Tampa 1895 - 1925


Hugh Brady









First airplane air show - 1911's

1911 - The year started with a general strike and the cigar industry in West Tampa and Ybor City is in halt since June 6. The economy in general has being greatly affected. Only four companies entered the West Tampa market, provably in responce for the violence and changes to come. By the end of the year it was apparently that the rush to move to West Tampa to start new cigar manufacturing was over. The city has a new mayor Hon. Hugh Brady. At this time they are 187 cigar factories (100 in West Tampa and 87 in Ybor City). Tobacco Journal - January 13, 1911

Wednesday January 6 , 1911 - This morning an agreement was reached by both sides, and the cigar workers will go back to work as soon as tomorrow.

Thurday February 9, 1911 - The eyes of the nation and large part of the world focused on West Tampa, for a air show presentation for the next three days. More than 12,000 people made their way to witness the aerobatics of this flying dare-davils and their flying machines.

Monday March 13, 1911 - Fernandez O'Halloran Cigar Co. started manufacturing operations at a small factory located at 917 West 20th Street

Thursday September 4, 1911 - Francisco Bolano & Co. opened a branch factory in the old Jose Silva building at the corner of Frances Avenue and St. John Street. The roots of this company extended back to 1886 in Key West.

  • Monday September 12, 1911 - Havana Cigar Co. started operations in west Tampa after moving from Ybor City (unknown address).
  • Monday September 25, 1911 - Francisco Ramirez Cigar, Co. started operations in West Tampa in a building located at 117 Laurel Street.
Monday October 16, 1911 - Val M. Antuono Cigar Co. moved his company here from Key West in 1907, and relocated to West Tampa to started operations today at 1316 Spring Street. Its 350 workers produced brands Duke de Belcourt and C.H.S. It was unusual in that it was an open shop with no union control.
1912 - The West Tampa population exceeded 10,000 residents, and eight (8) new factories began this year. 5th Largest City in Florida. They were a mixture of formal corporations and independent "buckeyes" operations. The streetcar lines are expanded throughout the city with up to 20 miles of track.

Friday February 2, 1912 - Tampa-Cuba Cigar, Company started operations in a building located at the N.E. corner of Armina Avenue and Pine Street.

  • Monday February 12, 1912 - El Burelo Cigar, Co. relocated to West Tampa from Ybor City, to the corner of Albany and Michigan Avenue. The company produced the popular brands X Senator, Cuba, Good Friends.
Wednesday March 20, 1912 - Diaz Havana Cigar Co. relocated to West Tampa from Havana, Cuba. The company employed 100 workers
Wednesday April 10, 1912 - Arturo Fuente Cigar, Co. started as a small "buckeye" operation at the corner of Habana Avenue and Main Street. Later in 1920 moved their operation to a three story wood building at the corner of Albany Ave. and Nassau Street.

Wednesday June 19, 1912 - Jose Diaz Cigar Co. started operation of cigar manufacturing in a building located at 1207 Garcia Ave.

Monday June 24, 1912 - Manuel Fernández Cigar Co. located at 105 Arch Street started in this day also. (See photo)

Monday September 16, 1912 - N. Palmeiro Cigar & Co. located at 530 Green Street started operation with 50 workers.

Friday September 20, 1912 - Francisco Rodriguez Cigar, Co. started operations in a building located at 905 North Boulevard with 45 cigarmakers.

Monday September 30, 1912 - Julio Tapanese Cigar & Co. started operation with 30 workers at 602 Albany Avenue.

1913 - During this year only five companies started operations in West Tampa , and the Mayor of West Tampa is Hon. James D. McFarlane (son of Hugh C. McFarlane) in his second year.
Wednesday February 12, 1913 - San Martin & León Co. started operations with 92 workers. Their name brands were La Flor de San Martin and Leon, El Briche, and Hoyo de Cuba. They were located in the old Leopold Powell factory. Factory forman was Arturo Ortiz.
Monday April 21, 1913 - Pedro Castro & Co. - moved to the old J.W. Roberts building, and started today operations with 85 workers.
Thursday June 10, 1913 - William Knowles started today operations at 1305 N. Albany Avenue. This was consider a "buckeye operation" with only 12 workers.
Monday September 15, 1913 - J.M. López Cigar, Company started operations at 1913 LaSalle Street.
1914 - Despite the rumors of war in Europe the year seems to be a prosper one. Most of the activity was the resultof mergers, buyouts or closed out. Only five (5) companies started operations this year. January 1, 1914 the first public library in Hillsborough opened at the NW corner of Howard Avenue and Union Street.
Monday March 9, 1914 - Grommes & Elson Co. purchased the Francisco Bolaño Cigar, Co. and started operations this day.

Monday May 4, 1914 - Balbin Bros. Cigar Co. subsidiary of Diaz Havana Cigar Co., adquire the Antonio Fernandez Cigar Co. Later Balbin Bros.Cigar Co. adquired Tampa-Cuba Cigar Co.

  • June 28, 1914 - Was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand , heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo.
  • July 28, 1914 - Servia declared war to Autria, Hungary and Germany, and the "First World War" started.
Wednesday September 9, 1914 - Mr. Moises Bustillo and his brother Felipe created M. Bustillo & Company, located at Howard Avenue and St. Louis Street.

Wednesday October 7, 1914 - The Andrea Rey & Co. started operations from a building located at 208 Nassau Street.

  • Monday October 12, 1914 - Antonio Sanchez & Co. started operations from a building located at 622 Laurel Street.
  • Tuesday October 20, 1914 - Antonio Vazquez & Co. started a small operation from a location at 1413 Garcia Avenue.

1915 - The new year was cought up in the greatest upheaval of its entire history the "First World War". For first time since 1892, not a single new cigar manufacturing company opened in West Tampa. The impact of the war on the cigar industry is difficult to assess. From the economy, raw materials, availability, market and demand are stand still, and will mark the industry for years to come...The city mayor is Hon. James D. Mc Farlane.

  • February 10, 1915 - The Fire Department change from horse pulled equipment to automobile.
1916 - Regardless the situation in Europe the cigar industry revived with several companies appeared on to the West Tampa scene.

Wednesday January 27, 1916 - P. Verplank Co. merged with the Bustillo Bros. Co.(unknown manufacturing location).

  • The report to the School Board of West Tampa presented today, indicated that there are 1,034 students in the city school system, 90% of latin extraction.
Tuesday February 19, 1916 - M. Abrams Co. decided to share factory space with the Bustillo Co. on St. Louis Street and Howard Avenue, and started operations today.
Friday May 14, 1916 - Manuel Alvarez Cigar, Co. started operations today on a building located at 1009 Pine Street with 45 workers.
Monday July 26, 1916 - J. Vidal Cruz & Sons started operations as a "buckeye" with seventeen workers at a building located ay 917 Fremont Avenue.

Monday September 6, 1916 - G.M. Henriquez Co. started operations as a "buckeye" with 12 workers at 1035 Main Street.

Thursday September 16, 1916 - La Nobleza Cigar Co. started operations at 401 Fortune (Cass) Street with 22 workers.

Wednesday September 29, 1916 - Cazin & Vicary Co. started operations as a "buckeye" with 10 workers in a building located at 233 Mai Street.

1917 - During this year only two major companies relocated to West Tampa as cigar manufacturers. While many others closed operations, and others are transforming to mechanical operations, and this seems to be the trend to come.

  • Monday March 5, 1917 - Alvarez & Méndez Co. a subsidiary of Prefered Co. relocated to the old Calixto Lopez factory at the corner of Gomez Avenue and Abdella Street.
  • Monday September 24, 1917 - Salvador Rico & Co. started operations at Albany Avenue and St. John Street..
1918 - The year as the one before started very slow for the cigar industry and the events in the second part of the year (end of the war) will mark the industry future.

Wednesday April 3, 1918 - over 10,000 workers declared a general strike that last six (6) weeks, demanding an increse in pay.

Monday April 8,1917- While the strike was in progrece West Tampa was hit by a destructive fire, which started in the abandoned building of Boltz Clymer Cigar Co. Apperently the fire started by careless youth playing in the back of the building. More than 100 buildings from homes, churches and factories were destroyed by the blaze in a sixteen (16) blocks area.
Thursday October 13, 1918 - in this date a disaster struck West Tampa and the entire Tampa Bay region population. An epidemic of Spanish Flu was declared, and by November more than 38% of the city residents had been infected. Schools are closed so as 90% of the cigar factories. At the end 256 Westampanians lost their lives due to the Spanish Flu.
1919 - A very slow year for the West Tampa Cigar industry. Many companies didn't survived the economy post "World War", but some of the new would prosper while others will be part of the cigar history.
Saturday June 28, 1919- United States President Woodrow Wilson signs Treaty of Veralles by which U.S.A. will assist France in case of unprovoked German attack. Peace Treaty signed and published. This will bring a relive to the cigar industry and the local economy. Signs of celebration by the residents are today in Ybor City, Tampa and West Tampa.
Wednesday August 20, 1919 - El Sidelo Cigar Co. # 229 located at the corner of Howard Avenue and Nassau Street, started operations with 100 workers.

Tuesday September 16, 1919 - E. Regensberg Cigar Co. #243 located at the corner of Abdela and Gomez. About a year later the company will relocate farther south to Albany Avenue.

Thursday September 18, 1919 - Robert Mugge Cigar & Co. #251 located at the corner of Howard Avenue and State Street started operations with 89 workers to produce the brands "Romuco" and "La Flor de Maximo Gonzalez".

1920 - This decade was the turning point for the cigar industry in Tampa. Determined not to give in to the union's demands from the past and the future, some of the largest factories turned to mechanical operations with less and more inexperienced labor force. Now the industry used operators of machienes intead of cigarmakers, and seams the future from now on. Hon. Blas O'Halloran was the city mayor, and the United States President is Woodrow Wilson.

Wednesday April 7, 1920 - Some of the manufacturers in West Tampa began laying off key union members. In responce, workers walked off the jobs a force of 15,000 workers were idled . Violence was common and many cigar workers left Tampa area to find work elsewere. As a result of ten months of the strike many small companies closed permanently.

  • Today the West Tampa School Board was created.

Monday June 14, 1920 - A. Alonzo Bros. & Co. #270 started small operation in a building located at 1208 Garcia Avenue. Later in 1924 will relocated to Willow Avenue and Nassau Street.

Tuesday June 15, 1920 - Officer John Nales the city's jailer and a veteran policeman, was killed in the line of duty.

Thursday June 17, 1920 - Alonzo & Co. started at 813 Howard Avenue with 28 workers.

Monday June 21, 1920 - Ruperto Estrada Co. opened operations at 1302 Gomez Avenue.

Monday June 28, 1920 - Salvador Italiano & Co. opened operations at 1509 Tampania Avenue with 34 workers.

Wednesday July 7, 1920 - George Kell & Co. opened at 915 North Boulevard.

Monday July 12, 1920 - F. Fernandez Co. opened an small operation at 545 Union Street.

Thurday July 29, 1920 - Antonio Llanes & Co. started operations at 527 Main Street.

Monday August 16, 1920 - Wodiska & Vila Co. started a manufacturing operations at the corner of Fremmont Avenue and Green Street.
Monday September 13, 1920 - Marciano Cigar Co. started operation at the former Bustillo Co. building at the corner of Howard Avenue and St. Louis Street.
Wednesday September 22, 1920 - G & M Company moved to West Tampa to a building formerly occupied by Berriman-Morgan Cigar, Co.
1921 - Around twenty (20) small operations joined the West Tampa cigar manufacturing community this year. The new major is Hon. Enrique Henriquez.

Thursday January 20, 1921 - A. Alvarez Co. at 1301 1/2 Garcia Avenue. started operations with 12 workers.

Tuesday January 25, 1921 - Manuel Alvarez & Co. started operations at 934 Chesnut Street with 13 workers.

Monday February 14, 1921 - Ceferino Arene & Co. started at 834 Chesnut Street with 8 workers.

Tuesday February 15, 1921 - Mr. Manuel Menendez a city fireman was killed while on duty during a fire.

Monday February 21, 1921 - D.A. Garcia & Co. started a major operation at the former Robert Mugge factory, with 120 workers.

Monday March 14, 1921 - Rogelio Barbera & Co. located at 1704 Armina Avenue.

Monday April 11, 1921 - Candido Escubio Co. started at 1010 Lemon Street

Monday April 18, 1921 - Ignacio Machado & Co. started at 210 Main Street.

Thursday April 21, 1921 - Machado Gonzalez Co. started at 114 Main Street.

Monday April 25, 1921 - Ramon Madero Co. started at 618 Main Street.

Tuesday May 3, 1921 - Vicente Gioveso Co. started at 202 Union Street.

Tuesday May 10, 1921 - George Mesina Co. started at 629 Main Street.

Monday May 16, 1921 - Agripino Montero Co. started at 209 1/2 Cass Street.

Monday May 21, 1923 - Etanislao Perez & Co. started at 116 Main Street.

Monday June 6, 1921 - Miguel Ortabello & Company started at 109 Arch Street.

Monday June 13, 1921 - Eduardo Posado Co. started at 634 Chesnut Street.

Monday June 27, 1921 - Carlos Quijano Co. started at 401 Fortune Street.

Thursday July 7, 1921 - Bernardo Rua Co. started at 119 Laurel Street.

Tuesday July 12, 1921 - A. Soto & Co. started at 917 Fremont Avenue.

Wednesday July 20, 1921 - Rogelio Velazco Co. started at 224 Arch Street.

Monday August 15, 1921 - Caballero & Menendez Co. started at 648 Union Street.

Thursday August 18, 1921 - Jose Arango & Co. started a major operation at 413 Howard Avenue with 160 workers, to produce the brands "Cyrilla" and "General Forbes".

Monday August 22, 1921 - B. Fernandez & Co. started at 1709 Armina Avenue.

1922 - In this year only two major companies, and one medium size started operations in West Tampa., and other eight additional "buckeye" entered the market. Hon. Enrique Enriquez is the city mayor.

Monday January 23, 1922 - Rafael Castillo & Co. started operations at 250 Lemon Avenue.

Tuesday January 31, 1922 - Ciccarello Brothers & Co. started at 1011 Beech Street.

Monday February 6, 1922 - Jesus Caraballo started at 545 Main Street.

Thursday February 16, 1922 - A.M. Cabrera & Co. started at 716 1/2 Main Street.

Thursday April 20, 1922 - Pastor & Fuente started at 809 Spruce Street.
Wednesday July 5, 1922 - Gonzalez & Fisher, Co. #321- started at 401 Fortune Street with 52 workers. Their trade brand "Tampa Girl". Later in 1926 they will relocated to the small Morgan Factory, located at the corner of Howard Avenue and St. Louis Street.
Tuesday September 12, 1922 - Antonio Perrone and Co. started operations at 213 Union Street.
1923 - During this year six companies started manufacruting operations in West Tampa four of them "buckeyes operations.

Monday February 12, 1923 - Pastor Diaz Co. (buckeye) started at 714 Union Street.

Monday April 16, 1923 - Domingo Quintana Co. started medium size operations at 3302 Armina Avenue.

Monday April 23, 1923 - Weller Cigar Co. started operations at 813 Howard Ave.

Saturday June 23, 1923 - Lady Diana Cigar, Co. started at 1207 Albany Avenue
Monday September 17, 1923 - Louis Golovine Cigar, Co. #310 relocated from Ybor City after started in February 6, 1923. Their address was 2802 Howard Avenue and employed 30 workers. Their brands were "Mi Sobino, Zembra and Noble Comrade". The company closed in 1926.
Thursday December 6, 1923 - Charles Morales Co. #357 (buckeye) started at 1218 Fremont Avenue.
1924 - This year only a few cigar manufacturing operations started in West Tampa, also will be decisive for the future of the city with the annexation to the City of Tampa. Hon. Enrique Henriquez is the last mayor of West Tampa. (1921-1924)
Monday January 14, 1924 - Tampa Grande Cigar Co. #390 started its operation at Nassau Street and Howard Avenue. Later in 1928 they relocated to 1607 Howard Avenue, closing a year later.

Thursday April 17, 1924 - Federico Fernandez & Co. factory started operations at 1114 Main Street.

Wednesday April 30, 1924 - Manuel Fernandez Co. started operations at 119 Laurel Street.

Wednesday August 20, 1924 - Schwab-Davis Co. - announced their factory opening in 1925.

Wednesday August 27, 1924 - Preston Cigar, Co. started at 3101 Gomez Avenue.

1925 - The annexation of the City of West Tampa to the City of Tampa was the major and first event of the year. When on Thursday January 1st 1925 both cities are now one, and many changes at all level of the economy. Property values soared, rents double, while food, clothing and day-to-day expences rose proportionally. Many families left the area in search of a more stable labor market.
Tuesday January 20, 1925 - Lugano Cigar, Co. started at 1022 Main Street.

Monday March 16, 1925 - J.F. Morris Co. started at 2611 Armina Street.

Monday March 30, 1925 - Joseph Robaldo & Co. starte operations at 2515 Palmetto Street.

Monday November 23, 1925 - New York Tampa Cigar Co. was adquired by Schwab-Davis located at Howard Avenue and Nassau Street, and started operations in February 1926. Later in 1929 the company closed.


This is the time-line history of the other city.....West Tampa.


Reference: Tampa Tribune Archives, University of South Florida Archives, Tobacco Journal, Hillsborough County Public Records. B.A.T.F. License Records Archives. - "Cigar City Architecture and Legacy" - 2015 - Author - Resercher: W. Reyes, Ph.D.

Trademark & copyrights reserved©GHC - 1996 - 2016

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Arturo Fuente - Label










James D. McFarlane








El Arte Cigar, Co.
Fernandez La Rosa & Co. - 1911's
S. Davis & Co - "El Sidelo"
Blas O'Halloran
Arturo Fuentes Cigar Co. - 1920's
Enrique Enriquez
Salzburg Cigar Co. - Label 1921's
Tampa Girl Label - 1922
El Aguila Nacional - Label 1924's