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John Shaw Sundy


John Shaw Sundy at left with family.

John Shaw Sundy (1864-1947) was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and was superintendent of construction for what became Florida East Coast Railway. When the tracks reached Palm Beach in 1894, the Sundys stayed at the Potter homestead until 1899, when they settled in Linton, renamed Delray a year later. Sundy stayed with the FEC until 1913 and paved many area streets, including Worth Avenue, with the help of mules.

In 1902 Sundy started a feed and fertilizer business and built a house on the highest land in the area, surrounding it with pineapple fields that he later replaced with vegetables. The founding of Delray’s first bank and Baptist church took place at the Sundy home, as well as incorporation of Delray in 1911, when Sundy was elected mayor; he served sixteen years.

Sundy’s wife, Eizabeth C. Shaw (1869-1952), taught the first pioneers’ children in her home, and taught Latin to Delray’s high school students. She chaired the first board of education and co-founded the Ladies Improvement Society, a fundraising organization.

Addie M. Sundy (1895-1988) managed the Sundy Feed Store 1915-1975, which was moved to Morikami Park in 1992 for an agricultural museum. She was one of the first women on the Chamber of Commerce board and president of the Zonta Club for city businesswomen.

Benjamin Franklin Sundy (1897-1964) worked at the Bank of Delray Beach until it closed in 1927, then joined Addie at the feed store. He was a city councilman, director of the Chamber of Commerce, and a Palm Beach County Commissioner for seventeen years.

Sarah Margaret “Sadie” Sundy (1900-1987) lived in the family home all of her life except when she attended Pan-American Business College; she worked at City Hall for fifteen years.

Glenn Brooks Sundy (1903-1990) attended Stetson University and was mayor of Delray Beach in 1960. Four of the Sundy children left the area: John Dewey Sundy (1899-1989), Kathryn Elizabeth Sundy Adkins (1906-1996), Edward Allen “Pete” Sundy (1911-2000), and Daisy L. Sundy Meehan (1908-2000). Daisy later returned and served as unofficial greeter at The Sundy House after it became a restaurant in 1992 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A friend of the family observed, “There was never a Delray without a Sundy.”

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