On February 11, 1870, Joseph Paul Robles Jr. and his wife Martha
Ann (Boyett) Robles homesteaded a 160 acre piece of land in Hillsborough County, Florida. It was bounded on the north
by Sligh Ave; the south by Robles Ave. (now Hanna Ave.); the west by Livingston Ave. (now 22nd St.) and on the east by 30th
In an area of Indians the Robles were the only white family in a square mile. Soon though, other pioneer families began
to settle around the Robles place. The Henry Murphy, the James Morris and the Tom Bourquardez families became neighbors and
In 1882 Robles bought a half acre of land at the corner of Hanna and what was then called Livingston Ave. With the help
of his brother, Seaborn, and his 3 friends mentioned above, Joseph Robles purchased the hard pine and cypress lumber needed
to build the areas first one room school house.
Between 1871 and 1897, Joseph and Martha parented at least 10 children, all born on the homestead and all formally educated
in the 'Livingston Avenue School'.
During the 1800's, 2 of Joseph's sons, Jerry and (John) Horace were in business together as stonecutters. Although their
business eventually succumbed to bankruptcy, many of the grave markers that they made still stand in Tampa's Woodlawn
In 1888, Joseph's brother, Horace Theodore Robles, built a house on Hanna Ave. (back then, Robles Ave.). The house
remains today, having been deemed a historical landmark in 2006, because of the great contributions to the area by the Robles
family. Here you can see the house after a recent renovation by a reality group, whom are using the building as a leasing
office for 'Grand Oaks Apartments' at 2604 E. Hanna Ave.
(And a footnote... robles in Spanish means oaks! Nice touch.)