Catherine Strong Park, Delray Beach, FL

Marc D. Thompson

Catherine Strong Park is located at 1500 SW 6th Street, Delray Beach and was named for Catherine Elizabeth Link Strong. As mayor and commissioner, Strong was a minority voice in helping the black community receive fair treatment. A wing at Bethesda Hospital was named for Strong, who served on their founding board, The Evening Garden Club dedicated a fountain to her at Delray Beach Memorial Gardens. She moved officials to change “city councilman” to “city commissioner” to resolve the gender issue. Catherine’s father was a craftsman with Mizner In 1923 he became general contractor for Del-Ida Park and built the family home there. Spencer Pompey wrote of Strong as “this tall, lithesome, beautiful lady with an iron will, indomitable courage and compassionate sensitivity, who became the shining symbol of love, charity, understanding and forgiveness and, indeed, hope for an entire community.”

Here is a timeline of her life:

  • 1911 born in NY
  • 1920’s moved from New York to Delray Beach, FL
  • 1929 Catherine married Samuel F Stanton
  • 1930 living at 426R 9th West Palm Beach, FL; Catherine is married to Samuel F Stanton, a manager of a Dry cleaning shop
  • 1939 Returned to Delray, married second husband Jack Strong
  • 1940 living at 9 Dixie Blvd in Delray Bch, FL with husband Jack Strong and her step son Herbert. She was a Real estate salesman for Realty office and Jack was roofing contractor
  • 1950 Catherine was first woman in Palm Beach County to be called for jury duty,
  • 1953-1957 started as a clerk at Delray Beach City Hall and was elected to the city commission three times
  • 1954 as mayor, she initiated recruitment of light industry to Delray.
  • 1956 Catherine successfully fought an attempt to change the city limits to eliminate all black neighborhoods
  • 1963 Catherine Strong died in Palm Beach, FL

Sources: www.ancestry.com, www.historicpalmbeach.com

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