History of Bay County

Creation of County

On February 12, 1913, representatives from five towns on the bay, met at Panama City for the purpose of selecting a name for the proposed new County. After discussion the name Bay was selected as one which would be satisfactory to the majority of the citizens, and as being distinctive of the territory that would be included. On July 1, 1913, Bay County was created by the Legislature from portions of Washington, Calhoun and Walton counties. The Nativity of Bay County was fittingly honored by a celebration in the City Park, now known as McKenzie Park. Picnic baskets were brought by the attendees while barbecued meats furnished by the City were served to all. Additional attractions were music, boat races, baseball and swimming matches.

First Legislators

The newly selected legislators held their first meeting on Monday, July 10, 1913, in rooms secured over the Bank of Panama City. The session was informal, but later in the day the commissioners met in the Owl's Nest on the dock at the end of Harrison Avenue and began strenuous work. Immediate plans were made for construction of a Courthouse, the corner stone was laid in December, 1914 and the building dedicated in December, 1915. On December 20, 1920, the Courthouse was severely damaged by fire and lost the beautiful dome that supported four clocks. However, the outer walls survived, the building was reconstructed and continues to serve as the Bay County Courthouse to this date.Margaret Savage

Margaret Savage

Mrs. Margaret Savage relates stories of her childhood of growing up in "Loch Lomond" lodge in the now State Park of Camp Helen. During her 1997 visit after the State had acquired the property Margaret, now 77, sat in what was once her mother's private patio and shared her memories of life in early Bay County.

Past Commissioners

The following are the Honorable Commissioners that have served Bay County since its inauguration on July 1, 1913:

1913-1915

  • R.L. McKenzie
  • T.E Crawford
  • T.B. Young
  • L.G. Gay
  • A.F. Gainer

1915-1917

  • T.B. Young
  • J.M. Barrow
  • H.P. Roush
  • T.E Crawford
  • Preston Warren

1917-1919

  • J.M. Barrow
  • B.A. Rhodes
  • John McLaughlin
  • J.B. McCall
  • A.F. Driskell
  • J.N Faile

1919-1921

  • J. McLaughlin
  • B.A. Rhodes
  • J.B. McCall
  • A.J. Gainer
  • J.N Faile
  • F.C. McGill
  • WB. Gainer

1921-1923

  • J.N Faile
  • M.B. Pierce
  • L.C. Gay
  • WB. Gainer
  • J.H. Laird

1923-1925

  • A.J. Pelham
  • J.N Faile
  • D.R. McBride
  • J.H. Laird
  • J.M. Porter
  • C.R. Russ

1925-1927

  • L.E Vickery
  • M.B. Davis
  • J.M. Porter
  • J.C. Gainer
  • WC. Holley
  • C.R. Russ

1927-1929

  • L.E Vickery
  • J.M. Porter
  • J.C. Gainer
  • C.P. Russ
  • WC. Holley

1929-1931

  • H.W Johnson
  • M. Porter
  • C.P. Russ
  • WB. Gainer
  • WH. Laird

1931-1933

  • H.W Johnson
  • C.P. Russ
  • Roy Van Kleeck
  • J.C. Gainer
  • WH. Laird

1933-1935

  • Douglas B. Sale
  • Joe D. Holmes
  • Roy Van Kleeck
  • J.C. Gainer
  • WH. Laird

1935-1937

  • SJ. Gainer
  • Joe D. Holmes
  • Roy Van Kleeck
  • J.C. Gainer
  • Harry W Peterson

1937-1939

  • R.D. Newberry
  • Dee Williams
  • Roy Van Kleeck
  • J.C. Gainer
  • Bruce Vickers

1939-1941

  • Dee Williams
  • A.L. Barber
  • J.C. Gainer
  • WW Nichols
  • Randall Newberry

1941-1943

  • J.A. Gilbert
  • A.L. Barber
  • WP. Worthington
  • C.N Muterspaugh
  • Bruce Vickers

1943-1945

  • Dee Williams
  • A.L. Barber
  • WP. Worthington
  • C.N Muterspaugh
  • Bruce Vickers

1945-1947

  • A.J. Childs
  • Ira L. Hill
  • B.V. Buchanan
  • C.N Muterspaugh

1947-1949

  • Ira L. Hill
  • A.J. Childs
  • Bruce Vickers
  • C. N Muterspaugh
  • WP. Worthington

1949-1951

  • A.J. Childs
  • Ira L. Hill
  • B.V. Buchanan
  • WP. Worthington
  • C.N Muterspaugh

1951-1953

  • Ira Hill
  • J.R. Miller
  • J.H. Davis
  • John Pitts
  • B.V. Buchanan

1953-1955

  • J.R. Miller
  • Ira L. Hill
  • M.B. Miller
  • B.V. Buchanan

1955-1957

  • M.B. Miller
  • John Pitts
  • B.V. Buchanan
  • Burton Clark
  • J.R. Miller

1957-1959

  • Burton H. Clark
  • J.R. Miller
  • B.V. Buchanan
  • M.B. Miller
  • John Pitts

1959-1960

  • J.R. Miller
  • B.V. Buchanan
  • Donald D. Mowat
  • Burton H. Clark
  • M.B. Miller

1961

  • Donald Mowat
  • I.S. Morris
  • Wilmont Edwards
  • A.J. Barnes
  • Burton Clark
  • Burford Freeman

1962

  • I.S. Morris
  • A.J. Barnes
  • Wilmont Edwards
  • Burford Freeman
  • Burton Clark

1963

  • Ira Hill
  • John Pitts
  • I.S. Morris
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Wilmont Edwards

1964

  • Ira Hill
  • John Pitts
  • I.S. Morris
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Wilmont Edwards

1965

  • Wilmont Edwards
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Ira Hill
  • I.S. Morris
  • John Pitts

1966

  • Isaac Byrd
  • I.S. Morris
  • De Delaney
  • Ira Hill
  • Wilmont Edwards

1967

  • Isaac Byrd
  • De Delaney
  • Ira Hill
  • I.S. Morris
  • Wilmont Edwards

1968

  • De Delaney
  • Ira Hill
  • I.S. Morris
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Wilmont Edwards

1969

  • De Delaney
  • Ira Hill
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Wilmont Edwards
  • George Gainer

1970

  • Isaac Byrd
  • Wilmont Edwards
  • De Delaney
  • Ira Hill
  • George Gainer

1971

  • George Gainer
  • Wilmont Edwards
  • De Delaney
  • Ira Hill
  • Isaac Byrd

1972

  • Zollie Young
  • William Peeke
  • George Gainer
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Wilmont Edwards

1973

  • Isaac Byrd
  • Jim Faircloth
  • Zollie Young
  • John Mullins
  • William Peeke
  • G.W. Hobbs

1974

  • Isaac Byrd
  • Jim Faircloth
  • G.W. Hobbs
  • John Mullins
  • William Peeke

1975

  • Jim Faircloth
  • John Mullins
  • G.W. Hobbs
  • Ray Wagner
  • Isaac Byrd

1976

  • Jim Faircloth
  • John Mullins
  • Isaac Byrd
  • G.W. Hobbs
  • Ray Wagner

1977

  • John Mullins
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Ray Wagner
  • Jim Faircloth
  • G.W. Hobbs

1978

  • G.W. Hobbs
  • Isaac Byrd
  • John Mullins
  • Jim Faircloth
  • Ray Wagner

1979

  • Ray Wagner
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Bill Tolar
  • John Mullins
  • Jim Faircloth

1980

  • John Mullins
  • Bill Tolar
  • Jim Faircloth
  • Ray Wagner
  • Isaac Byrd

1981

  • Bill Tolar
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Wilmont Edwards
  • Ray Wagner
  • John Hutt, Jr.

1982

  • Isaac Byrd
  • Ray Wagner
  • Wilmont Edwards
  • Bill Tolar
  • John Hutt, Jr.

1983

  • John Hutt, Jr
  • Wilmont Edwards
  • Isaac Byrd
  • Helen Ingram
  • M.B. Miller

1984

  • Isaac Byrd
  • Helen Ingram
  • Wilmont Edwards
  • John Hutt, Jr.
  • M.B. Miller

1985

  • Helen Ingram
  • M.B. Miller
  • Isaac Byrd
  • John Hutt, Jr.
  • Tommy Loftin

1986

  • Isaac Byrd
  • Helen Ingram
  • M.B. Miller
  • John Hutt, Jr.
  • Tommy Loftin

1987

  • Isaac W. Byrd
  • Tommy Loftin
  • John Hutt, Jr.
  • Ralph Burgess
  • Harold Phillips
  • S. Richard Seltzer

1988

  • Ralph Burgess
  • Harold Phillips
  • John Hutt, Jr.
  • S. Richard Seltzer
  • Tommy Loftin

1989

  • S. Richard Seltzer
  • Tommy Cooley
  • Mike Nelson
  • Ralph Burgess
  • Harold Phillips
  • Cliff Fleming, Jr.

1990-1989

  • Tommy Cooley
  • Mike Nelson
  • Ralph Burgess
  • Cliff Fleming
  • S. Richard Seltzer

1990-1991

  • Mike Nelson
  • Jack Hamm
  • Tommy Cooley
  • Danny Sparks
  • S. Richard Seltzer

1991-1992

  • Jack Hamm
  • Danny Sparks
  • Mike Nelson
  • Tommy Cooley
  • S. Richard Seltzer

1992-1993

  • Danny Sparks
  • Carol Atkinson
  • Jack Hamm
  • John Robbins
  • Rick Hurst

1993-1994

  • Carol Atkinson
  • John Robbins
  • Jack Hamm
  • Danny Sparks
  • Rick Hurst

1994-1995

  • John Robbins
  • Rick Hurst
  • Carol Atkinson
  • Danny Sparks
  • Richard Stewart

1995-1996

  • Rick Hurst
  • Carol Atkinson
  • John Robbins
  • Richard Stewart
  • Danny Sparks

1996-1997

  • Richard Stewart
  • Marc Nolen
  • Robert Wright
  • Carol Atkinson
  • Danny Sparks

1997-1998

  • Danny Sparks
  • Marc Nolen
  • Robert Wright
  • Richard Stewart
  • Carol Atkinson

1998-1999

  • Carol Atkinson
  • Marc Nolen
  • Robert Wright
  • Richard Stewart
  • Danny Sparks

1999-2000

  • Marc Nolen
  • Robert Wright
  • Carol Atkinson
  • Richard Stewart
  • Danny Sparks

2000-2001

  • Micheal J. Ropa
  • Cornel Brock
  • John G. Newberry, Jr.
  • Danny Sparks
  • Richard Stewart

2001-2002

  • Cornel Brock
  • John G. Newberry, Jr.
  • Danny Sparks
  • Richard Stewart
  • Michael J. Ropa

2002-2003

  • Jerry L. Girvin
  • John G. Newberry, Jr.
  • George B. Gainer
  • Cornel Brock
  • Michael J. Ropa

2003-2004

  • George B. Gainer
  • Cornel Brock
  • Jerry L. Girvin
  • John G. Newberry, Jr.
  • Michael J. Ropa

2004-2005

  • George B. Gainer
  • Mike Nelson
  • Jerry L. Girvin
  • William T. Dozier
  • Mike Thomas

2005-2006

  • Mike Nelson
  • Jerry L. Girvin
  • George B. Gainer
  • William T. Dozier
  • Mike Thomas

2006-2007

  • Mike Nelson
  • Jerry L. Girvin
  • George B. Gainer
  • William T. Dozier
  • Mike Thomas

2007-2008

  • Mike Nelson
  • Jerry L. Girvin
  • George B. Gainer
  • William T. Dozier
  • Mike Thomas  

2008-2009

  • George B. Gainer
  • Mike Nelson
  • Jerry L. Girvin
  • William T. Dozier
  • Mike Thomas

2009-2010

  • Mike Nelson
  • Jerry L. Girvin
  • George B. Gainer
  • William T. Dozier
  • Mike Thomas

2010-2012

  • Mike Nelson
  • George B. Gainer
  • William T. Dozier
  • Guy M. Tunnell
  • Mike Thomas

2013-2014

  • Mike Nelson
  • George B. Gainer
  • William T. Dozier
  • Guy M. Tunnell
  • Mike Thomas