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William Curry

July 23rd, 2015 by Piper Smith

Mr. Curry was a native of Green Turtle Key, one of the Bahama Islands, and was born Sept. 11, 1821. He was of Irish descent, and his parents were Benjamin and Martha Curry. On March 3, 1837, he reached Key West which was then an unimportant village of fishermen and wreckers. During the Seminole Indian War he spent four years afloat with the fleet under Commander McLaughlin, and upon returning from this service, began clerking for William H. Wall. About 1843, he formed a firm in which he, and G. L. Bowne and another were partners. The third partner retired at the end of two years, and in 1845 the firm of Bowne and Curry was established, and during the succeeding years built up an immense business in merchandising, wrecking and shipbuilding. Captain John Lowe became interested with the firm in the Lavinia, a wrecking schooner, which proved a most profitable investment. Their vessels were all well built, of the finest materials, and by the best workmen, as Mr. Curry would never consider anything but the best in building either ships or houses. The firm of Bowne and Curry was dissolved in 1861, when Mr. Bowne retired on account of ill-health, and sold all his interests to Mr. Curry. The latter continued the business in his own name, and enlarged and developed it so that when he retired he was not only the most prominent business man in Key West, but in all South Florida.