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Frank D. Upchurch, Sr. and Hamilton D. Upchurch Endowment

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(r) Hamilton D. Upchurch and (l) Frank D. Upchurch, Sr.

This fund was established by the estate of Hamilton D. Upchurch, Sr., in 2008 to support the programs and research related to the Spanish exploration of Florida, particularly St. Augustine, in the Institute of Early Period Contact Studies in the Department of History.

Hamilton D. Upchurch, Sr. was born September 25, 1925, in St. Augustine, FL. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida in 1949 and a juris doctor in 1951. He was a state legislator and mayor of St. Augustine, a pilot and a huge Gator football fan.

From 1978-88, Upchurch served in the state House of Representatives and was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee for eight years. Upchurch was elected to the St. Augustine City Commission and served as mayor from 1967-69. There is a park in St. Augustine named after Hamilton.

Hamilton Upchurch passed away on January 8, 2008.

Hamilton’s father, Frank D. Upchurch, Sr., was born on February 25, 1894. He was a veteran of WWI, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a former state senator and representative, former mayor of St. Augustine and once a candidate for governor. Frank Upchurch, who had practiced law in St. Augustine since 1925, earned his law degree from UF in 1915 and was admitted to the Florida Bar that same year.

Frank Upchurch served the Florida House of Representatives in 1921 from Nassau County. He was a senator from St. Johns and Flagler counties in 1943. As a state senator, he played a key role in the establishment of the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board. Frank Upchurch was elected to the St. Augustine City Commission in 1927 and the following year was named mayor.

Frank D. Upchurch, Sr. passed away on June 1, 1986.

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