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Incorporation Palm: History of Miami's Incorporation

History of the City of Miami's Incorporation 

On July 28, 1896, three-hundred and sixty eight men* met in the room over ‘The Lobby,’ a building situated on what was then Avenue D,  to incorporate the City of Miami, organize its municipal government, and elect 26 year-old John B. Reilly its first Mayor. An article published in The Miami Metropolis three days later reported that among the items approved unanimously was the designation of the City of Miami seal:  

“[The] corporate seal of this municipality shall be as follows: A round seal two inches in diameter, with the words ‘The City of Miami’ arranged in a semicircular form, constituting the border around the base and the design of the Royal Palm tree in an upright position in the center of the seal, with the inscription ‘Incorporated 1896’ inserted just below the center of the seal.”

* In 1896, women could not legally vote.  Although present at the historic meeting, Miami's matriarch Julia Tuttle was not allowed to vote for the city's incorporation. 

To learn more about the City's history, please visit

above: "X" marks Incorporation site, Hopkins 1925 map.

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Xavier Cortada
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Miami Beach, FL 33139

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