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James Edmundson Ingraham Papers

Identifier: Ms 056

Scope and Content

The Ingraham Papers (1854-1920) contain his business papers, correspondence, family photographs, and miscellaneous materials pertaining to railroads, the Everglades and the sugar industry in Florida. Of particular interest are Ingraham's manuscripts regarding the Flagler and Plant railroads and their role in developing South Florida. The collection contains correspondence from a number of people, including both James Edmundson and James Draper during their tenure while working under Henry Flager. There is also the correspondence of Rev. J. P. Ingraham, Frances Hopkins Ingraham, and Isabella Ingraham Heard. Both the original collection and the 2024 addition include references to Capt. Frederick Root’s involvement in the Confederate army. The papers also include a copy of Henry Flagler’s will.

The 2023 Addition to the Collection contains documents related to the Root and Ingraham families and additional correspondence, clippings and photographs. There are two Civil War maps drawn by Frederick Root along with Ingraham family records, photographs, government documents, and genealogies. People mentioned in the papers include the grandparents of James E. Ingraham, his daughter-in-law, and his granddaughter.


  • Creation: 1854 - 1982



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Businessman, entrepreneur, and railroad company executive James Edmundson Ingraham was born in Racine, Wisconsin on November 18th, 1850. After graduating from Racine College, Ingraham moved to St. Louis, where he met Maria Elizabeth Baker. The two married on June 19th, 1872, and had three children: Annie (who died as an infant), James Draper, and Kathleen Maria. Ingraham moved to Florida in 1874 and became associated with Henry Sanford in Sanford, Florida. He spent most of his career working in Florida for the railroad tycoons, Henry Flagler and Henry Plant. As part of his work for the Plant railroad along the west coast of Florida, he conducted a survey through the Everglades from Ft. Myers to Miami in 1892. From 1892 until 1897 he was employed by Flagler in various positions, and from 1897 to 1899 he served as land commissioner for the Florida East Coast Railway (1897-1899). After the turn of the century, he served as president of Flagler's Model Land Company and as an officer of several small land companies organized by Flagler. In this capacity, he promoted land sales and spurred the growth of towns in Florida for several years. He died in Atlanta on October 25th, 1924, due to pneumonia.

John Phillips Thurston Ingraham was born in August 1817 in Kennebec, Maine. He married Cornelia Fanning Root in September 1848, and they had four children: James Edmondson, Elizabeth M., Cornelia Harriet, and Clarence Dayton. J.P.T. Ingraham died in December 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Cornelia Fanning Root Ingraham, wife of J.P.T. and mother of J.E. Ingraham, was born on July 4th, 1831, in St. Louis, Missouri and died on December 23rd, 1898, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Frederick A. Root, uncle to J.E. Ingraham, was born on October 15th, 1831, In Prince Edward County, Virginia. Root was a captain in the Confederate army until his discharge in August, 1862. He died on December 1nd, 1863, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Maria Elizabeth Baker Ingraham was born on September 15th, 1851, in St. Louis, Missouri. On June 19th, 1872, she married James Edmundson Ingraham. The couple had three children: Annie, who died as an infant, James Draper, and Kathleen Maria. She died on February 3rd, 1930 in St. Augustine.

James Draper Ingraham was born on June 16th, 1884, in Miami, Florida. He married Frances Hopkins in St. Augustine on June 30th, 1915. The couple had two children: Isabella Gibbs and Maria Elizabeth. He died on March 12th, 1956, in St. Johns County, Florida.

Frances Humphrey Hopkins Ingraham was born on November 19th, 1887, in St. Augustine, Florida. She married James D. Ingraham on June 30th, 1915, in St. Augustine. Hopkins died on April 12th, 1978, in St. Johns County, Florida.

Isabella Ingraham Heard was born on May 15th, 1917, in Jacksonville, Florida. She married William Heard in St. Augustine on September 6th, 1941. Ingraham died on February 19th, 2017, in St. Johns County, Florida.


1.56 Linear feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, miscellaneous materials, and photographs of businessman, entrepreneur, and railroad company executive along with his family.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Gift of Conway C. Ford and Maria G. Ford.

Additional material donated by James and Frances Heard in September 2023.

Alternate Form of Material

Items in the James Edmundson Ingraham collection have been digitized for America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades project, which is generously supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). In addition to the links that are provided throughout this guide to the collection, all materials can be browsed at the James Edmundson Ingraham page in the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please note the majority of items in this collection are not described individually. Therefore, it is not possible to search for a specific item (e.g., a letter written by a particular author). Instead, the digital collection is best accessed by selecting a folder title and browsing the images contained in each folder.

Related Material

Correspondence with and materials about J.E. Ingraham (including property records), Joshua Coffin Chase, Henry Sanford and the early railroads in Florida in the 19th century can be found in The Chase Family Papers. For additional materials pertaining to development in the Everglades, consult the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Papers, the William Sherman Jennings Papers, the May Mann Jennings Papers, and the Thomas E. Will Papers.

A Guide to the James Edmundson Ingraham Papers
Finding aid prepared by Dept. Staff and Myla Wasser.
December 2011 (updated June 2024)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.
Digitization funded with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America