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CLARENCE E. PHEIL (obituary) son of A. C. PHEIL b. Pennsylvania & Lottie CLOS.
Posted by: Jacqueline Sleeper Russell (ID *****0541) Date: February 03, 2003 at 19:30:44
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Clarence E. Pheil, 81, managed St. Petersburg theater, hotel Series: Obituaries
St. Petersburg Times; St. Petersburg; Oct 5, 1989; CRAIG BASSE;

Abstract:
ST. PETERSBURG - Clarence E. Pheil, a member of a pioneer Suncoast family whose name once graced a hotel and movie theater in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, died of cancer Monday (Oct. 2, 1989) in Mount Dora. He was 81.

The youngest son, he was one of three boys and a girl born to Lottie Close Pheil and Abram C. Pheil, a former St. Petersburg City Council member and the city's mayor in 1912.

His father, a Pennsylvanian, homesteaded a place near Floral City in 1884 before moving on 10 years later to southern Pinellas County. There he married and went to work in a sawmill. He later owned the St. Petersburg Novelty Works, a major supplier of building materials, and rode with Tony Jannus in the historic Benoist airboat across Tampa Bay in 1914, a flight later called the birth of commercial aviation. He paid $400 for the 23-minute trip.

Full Text:
Copyright Times Publishing Co. Oct 5, 1989

ST. PETERSBURG - Clarence E. Pheil, a member of a pioneer Suncoast family whose name once graced a hotel and movie theater in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, died of cancer Monday (Oct. 2, 1989) in Mount Dora. He was 81.

He moved to Mount Dora about a year ago from Citrus County, where he lived for two decades at his retirement farm on Cabbage Island in the Tsala Apopka lakes, according to a son, David.

The youngest son, he was one of three boys and a girl born to Lottie Close Pheil and Abram C. Pheil, a former St. Petersburg City Council member and the city's mayor in 1912.

His father, a Pennsylvanian, homesteaded a place near Floral City in 1884 before moving on 10 years later to southern Pinellas County. There he married and went to work in a sawmill. He later owned the St. Petersburg Novelty Works, a major supplier of building materials, and rode with Tony Jannus in the historic Benoist airboat across Tampa Bay in 1914, a flight later called the birth of commercial aviation. He paid $400 for the 23-minute trip.

He died in 1922, about a year after the completion of the 11-story Pheil Building. The city's first ``skyscraper,`` it featured an ornate ground floor theater that became a local landmark at Fourth Street and Central Avenue. He had bought the land for the ``outlandish`` price of $2,250, according to historian Karl Grismer.
The property today is home to Florida National Bank and Florida National Tower.
Clarence Elmer ``Scabby`` Pheil was born in 1908 in St. Petersburg, when this area still was part of Hillsborough County. He played football at St. Petersburg High School and starred as a tackle on the University of Florida (UF) team.
After college, with the Depression closing in, he returned to St. Petersburg to help his mother with the Pheil Theater and the 108-room Pheil Hotel properties.
He and other members of the family managed the properties until they were leased in 1959 for 99 years to the old First National Bank.
In 1961 the building was largely incorporated into the First National Bank and named the National Hotel. In 1963 it became the Madison Hotel, which it remained until it was gutted 10 years later. After standing vacant for a few years, it was renovated into offices.

At UF, Mr. Pheil was a member of Blue Key and Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity. He later belonged to the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and the Dragon Club and was an active member of the Episcopal church.
Survivors include his wife, Eleanor; three sons, Thomas, Peter and David, all of St. Petersburg; a sister, Bertha Pheil Bobbitt, St. Petersburg; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Monday in the Cathedral Church of St. Peter.

The family suggested memorial contributions to Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches (Learning Center), Boys Ranch, Fla. 32060-9988.

Rehbaum-Harden Funeral Home in Mount Dora is in charge of arrangements.

- Some of the information in this obituary came from stories in the St. Petersburg Times and Evening Independent


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