Some Surveyors of Pasco County

This page was contributed by Nellie Robinson.

1887. When Pasco County held its first meeting W. A. Jones was elected to the post of County Surveyor. A July 11, 1884, Fort Dade Messenger lists him as surveyor and real estate agent. It appears as though he may have had other interests in farming and, during this point in time, defending his land.

1900. Allen Organ Pearce is elected to the position of County Surveyor. According to the Board of County Commissioners Minute Book (Book1 Page 673) on June 3, 1901, his bond was approved for this position. He was married to Eugenia Catherine Edwards on April 28, 1870, in San Antonio, Florida. His roots ran deep in Pasco family as his parents were Samuel Jonathan Pearce and Mary “Polly” Hancock. Apparently in August of 1912 he was arrested for his involvement in the murder of a Rewis. He is buried in the Pearce family cemetery.

1920. The outbreak of the Spanish influenza of 1918 left a population of Pasco County as 8,802.

1931. The State of Florida requires licenses for Engineers and Surveyors.

1932. On December 5, 1932, the Board of County Commissioners approves the bond of William A. Sparkman as County Surveyor. While the surveyor’s position did not pay well, he accepted the position at the age of 57. He was buried in the Dade City cemetery in July of 1945.

1940. Albert E. Taylor is elected to the position at the age of 60. He fulfills his duties until his death in 1945. His bond was approved in December of 1940 by the Board of County Commissioners.

1949. County Loyalty Oath is required for employment.

1952. Donald C. Taylor is elected to the position and his bond is approved on November 28, 1952, by the Board of County Commissioners. It is at that meeting the Board mentions their hopes for him as his father’s replacement. His father was A. E. Taylor.

1956. C. Fred Deuel ran unopposed as a Democrat for the position. His bond was approved on February 26, 1957, as recorded in Commission Minute Book 12 page 110.

1960. Elmer Mullins appears before the Board of County Commissioners as an elected official. The Board of County Commissioners approved his bond on December 27, 1960. At the January 3, 1961, (Book 14 Page 257) the State of Florida notified the Board of County Commissioners that the position must be held by a licensed individual.

1964. Harley Gilmore ran for the office as a write-in candidate for the Democratic Party. According to the New Port Richey Press (October 29, 1964) his opposition was Gene S. Perlowski, who ran for the Republican Party as a write-in candidate also. His campaign poster listed him as a resident of Pasco County for 25 years. He was a Registered Land Surveyor with a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida. His 12 years in local surveying was served under C. Fred Deuel and Walter Casson. He was also Construction Manager and Partner for Taylor Contracting Co. Inc. According to Mr. Gilmore the salary for this position was $5 per day. It should be noted that at this time computers as we know today were not available and most calculations, which were carried out to seven decimal places, were done with a “coffee grinder” calculator. In 1965-1976 he was founder and President of American Engineering, Inc., and later Gilcrest Enterprises (1976-1988), Eagle Design Group (1988-1991), and is currently Director of Education for Academic Services Corporation. From 1973-1991 he taught at Pasco-Hernando Community College in the field of Land Surveying and Engineering. He was President of the West Central Florida Chapter Florida Surveying and Mapping Society in 1996 and currently serves on an Ad Hoc Committee of the State Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers for statute changes.

1968. The County Surveyor position is eliminated as an elected four-year position as defined in Article 18 Section 10 of the Florida Constitution. For the next ten years it appears as though Pasco County used consultants for their survey work, as this was most economical.

1978 to 1980. Tom Walsh is hired as County Surveyor. Two survey crews are established and one draftsman is “loaned” from the Engineering Department. He helps establish the original ordinance for platting in Pasco County and establishes the files.

1981 to 2003. Nellie Robinson is hired from the Property Appraiser’s Office. Her background had been in the private sector in Tampa until 1980. She was a registered surveyor (third female in the State of Florida), a Certified Engineering Technician and Certified Cadastre and first female to obtain the title as County Surveyor in the Southeastern United States. The county’s transition to computers involved hours of compiling and transferring data to this new format. The massive renaming and numbering system through out the entire county came under the Surveyor’s Office. The system used for addressing was the Lyman or grid system. About the same time, the county purchased a Geographic Information System (G.I.S.) program for modernization and analysis of growth. The transference of data took several hours of time and most information was not in existence and needed to be created from scratch. Today there are over 400 maps or layers in the system for use during disasters in the Office of Emergency Management. The installation of G.P.S. (Global Positioning Satellite) control points was done without any cost to the citizens of Pasco County (grants). These points were installed and approved by the U.S. Geological Survey Department. Although some crime scenes were surveyed for court, most court appearances were for condemnation for road projects. Specifications for construction were written to include the videoing of roads prior to and after construction. Videoing assisted with the road inventory that the Surveyor’s office later developed. After a natural disaster, proof of improvements submittal is easy for FEMA funding. The platting ordinance was modified and classes given to all of those affected. Today she is retired and still volunteers with various community and historical agencies.

2003 to 2013. Hardowar Singh.

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