The beautiful Memorial Presbyterian Church was built by Henry Morrison Flagler as a memorial to his daughter Jenny Louise Flagler Benedict who died from complications related to childbirth.
Flagler (January 2, 1830 – May 20, 1913), a founding partner in the Standard Oil Company, also built the Florida East Coast railroad which opened up the east coast of Florida down to the Keys. In St. Augustine, he created a winter resort with three elegant hotels.
When his daughter died soon after the birth – and death – of her child, he chose to build a church as a permanent memorial to her. The Presbyterian congregation that benefited from his largess is the oldest Presbyterian congregation in Florida and at the time of the church’s dedication numbered only 40 members.
In addition to Jenny Louise and her daughter, Marjorie, Mr. Flagler and his first wife, Mary, are also buried in the family mausoleum at the church.
- Henry Morrison Flagler, Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Flagler).
- Society for the Preservation of Historic Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church
- Photos are from the author’s collection at Flickr.