Q&A: The namesakes of bay area roads and bridges

Namesakes of roads and bridges

Can you please enlighten as to who Howard Frankland was? And Courtney Campbell? And Dale Mabry?

The Howard Frankland Bridge, once commonly referred to the Howard Frankenstein Bridge because of its monster traffic problems, was named after a Tampa businessman.

William Howard Frankland came to Tampa from Tennessee in 1925, and founded Pioneer Tire and, later, Rubber Products Inc. He was an early advocate of building a bridge between Tampa and St. Petersburg. Work began in June 1957 and was completed in August 1959, and the grand opening ceremonies were held in January 1960. The $6.5-million bridge became the third over Tampa Bay. It has been expanded several times and is the bay area's most-used bridge.

The Courtney Campbell Parkway was originally known as the Ben T. Davis Causeway when it opened in 1934 to connect Tampa and Clearwater. In 1948 its name was changed to honor Courtney Warren Campbell (1895-1971), a Clearwater lawyer, farmer and land developer who also served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He worked to improve and beautify the span and develop its roadside parks, one of which is named after Davis.

Speaking of Ben T. Davis, he was a captain, builder and promoter who built the bridge for $900,000 and sold it to the state 31 months later for $1,074,000.

Dale Mabry, born in Tallahassee in 1891, was an Army Air Corps captain during World War I. After the war he was part of a crew that brought an Italian dirigible, the Roma, to the United States. During a test flight in Norfolk, Va., in February 1922, the nose cone of the dirigible collapsed and it began falling to Earth. Mabry, who was piloting, tried to make an emergency landing but ran into power lines. The Roma went up in flames, and Mabry's body was recovered with his hands still gripping the control wheel. He was hailed a hero, and in 1943 his name was attached to a new highway that connected MacDill Air Force Base and Drew Air Field, which is now Tampa International Airport.

Cause of tallest woman's death

I recently read where the tallest woman in the world died recently, and I was just wondering the cause of her death.

Sandy Allen, 53, whose 7-foot, 7-inch frame earned her the title "World's Tallest Woman," died in August after battling diabetes, a recurring blood infection, breathing troubles, kidney failure and infections over the years. She was born a normal size, but a tumor on her pituitary gland caused an excessive release of growth hormones.

Allen died in a nursing home in her hometown of Shelbyville, Ind. In 1975, Guinness World Records named her the world's tallest woman. She had used her height to inspire schoolchildren to accept those who are different.

Q&A: The namesakes of bay area roads and bridges 01/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 8:55am]

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