Henry Clay Giddens ~ Man of the South

Henry Clay Giddens, portrait from Men of the South, 1922.

Henry Clay Giddens, portrait from Men of the South, 1922.

Another Giddens brother detailed in Memoirs of Florida was Henry Clay Giddens, who was born and raised in Berrien County, GA.  His parents were Elizabeth and William Giddens.

Rerick, Rowland H. (1902) Memoirs of Florida: Embracing a general history of the province, territory, and state; and special chapters devoted to finances and banking, the bench and bar, medical profession, railways and navigation, and industrial interests.The Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, GA. Vol II, Pgs 525-526.

Henry Clay Giddens, a worthy business man of Tampa, was born in Berrien county, Ga., November 2, 1863.  His family is Southern, his paternal grandfather having been a native of North Carolina, and his maternal grandfather of Virginia.  His father, William Giddens, was a planter in Georgia, a county judge and a soldier in the Confederate army; his wife was Elizabeth Edmundson Giddens, also a Georgian.  Henry C. is the tenth of eleven children and the youngest of nine sons.  Eight of these children are still living.  He is one of the four brothers who settled in Tampa, where the are among the prominent  citizens: Marcus F., Isbin S., county treasurer and member of the firm I. S. Giddens & Co., wholesale grocers, and Dr. John A. Giddens, a well known dentist. Henry C. Giddens was reared and received his early education in his native county.  He took a course in the Eastman business college, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he graduated in September, 1885.  At the age of twenty he came to Tampa and clerked one year in the store of C.L. Friebele, and for six years was bookkeeper and general manager for E. A. Clarke & Co. November 1, 1891, he embarked in the clothing business as the partner of  W. B. Henderson, one of the leading men of Tampa.  Mr. Giddens has been treasurer of the Building and Loan association ever since its organization ten years ago.  He is a member of the Board of Trade and of the order of the Knights of Pythias,  and is one of the pillars of the Presbyterian church of which he is deacon.  He was married June 27, 1887 to Sallie M. Graham of Tampa, a native of Alabama, and they have two children, Henry Chalmers, born August 22, 1895, and James Graham, born July 10, 1891, died April 27, 1901.

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  An updated sketch of  Henry Clay Giddens was published in Men of the South in 1922.

Moore, Daniel Decatur. 1922. Men of the South: a work for the newspaper reference library. Southern Biographical Association. New Orleans. Pg 272.

  Henry Clay Giddens, retail clothier, of clothier, of Tampa, Florida, is a native of Berrien county, Georgia, where he was born November 2, 1863.
Mr. Giddens attended the common schools at his home and then took a commercial course at the famous Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, New York.
He located in Tampa, in 1883, at the age of twenty, when that city was a mere village and when there were only two or three mercantile establishments in the town.  He “looked for a job” and found one with C.L. Frieble, one of the pioneer merchants of the place. He was later employed as a clerk by E.A. Clarke & Company and was soon promoted to manager of the store.
Six years after his arrival in Tampa, Mr. Giddens found himself established in his own business, Henry Giddens & Company, his partner being the late W.B. Henderson.  This business has been continuously in operation ever since and, with the growth of Tampa, has become one of the largest retail clothing establishments in the State, occupying the corner store of the Giddens building, at Franklin and Lafayette streets. The firm has been incorporated as the Henry Giddens Clothing Company.
Mr. Giddens is a member of the Board of Trade, one of the most active directors of the Young Men’s and Women’s Christian Associations and the Old People’s Home, and always alert in the interest of Tampa.  He served on the City Council four years and on the Board of Public Works four years and is now president of the Board of Trustees of the Tampa Public Library, to which he gives much time and attention.
Mr. Giddens married, in 1887, Miss Sallie Graham, and they have one son, H.C., Jr., who is vice-president of the Henry Giddens Clothing Company.

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1 Comment

  1. March 9, 2011 at 12:03 am

    […] Henry Clay Giddens ~ Man of the South (raycityhistory.wordpress.com) […]


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