History of Bay County

Creation of County

On February 12, 1913, representatives from five towns on the bay, met at Panama City for the purpose of selecting a name for the proposed new County. After discussion the name Bay was selected as one which would be satisfactory to the majority of the citizens, and as being distinctive of the territory that would be included. On July 1, 1913, Bay County was created by the Legislature from portions of Washington, Calhoun and Walton counties. The Nativity of Bay County was fittingly honored by a celebration in the City Park, now known as McKenzie Park. Picnic baskets were brought by the attendees while barbecued meats furnished by the City were served to all. Additional attractions were music, boat races, baseball and swimming matches.

First Legislators

The newly selected legislators held their first meeting on Monday, July 10, 1913, in rooms secured over the Bank of Panama City. The session was informal, but later in the day the commissioners met in the Owl's Nest on the dock at the end of Harrison Avenue and began strenuous work. Immediate plans were made for construction of a Courthouse, the corner stone was laid in December, 1914 and the building dedicated in December, 1915. On December 20, 1920, the Courthouse was severely damaged by fire and lost the beautiful dome that supported four clocks. However, the outer walls survived, the building was reconstructed and continues to serve as the Bay County Courthouse to this date.Margaret Savage

Margaret Savage

Mrs. Margaret Savage relates stories of her childhood of growing up in "Loch Lomond" lodge in the now State Park of Camp Helen. During her 1997 visit after the State had acquired the property Margaret, now 77, sat in what was once her mother's private patio and shared her memories of life in early Bay County.

Past Commissioners

The following are the Honorable Commissioners that have served Bay County since its inauguration on July 1, 1913:

1913-1915
1915-1917
1917-1919
1919-1921
1921-1923

• R.L. McKenzie
• T.E Crawford
• T.B. Young
• L.G. Gay
• A.F. Gainer



• R.L. McKenzie
• T.E Crawford
• T.B. Young
• L.G. Gay
• A.F. Gainer



• R.L. McKenzie
• T.E Crawford
• T.B. Young
• L.G. Gay
• A.F. Gainer



• J. McLaughlin
• B.A. Rhodes
• J.B. McCall
• A.J. Gainer
• J.N Faile
• F.C. McGill
• WB. Gainer


• J.N Faile
• M.B. Pierce
• L.C. Gay
• WB. Gainer
• J.H. Laird


1923-1925
1925-1927
1927-1929
1929-1931
1931-1933

• A.J. Pelham
• J.N Faile
• D.R. McBride
• J.H. Laird
• J.M. Porter
• C.R. Russ


• L.E Vickery
• M.B. Davis
• J.M. Porter
• J.C. Gainer
• WC. Holley
• C.R. Russ


 L.E Vickery
 J.M. Porter
 J.C. Gainer
 C.P. Russ
 WC. Holley



 H.W Johnson
 M. Porter
 C.P. Russ|
 WB. Gainer
  WH. Laird



 H.W Johnson
 C.P. Russ
 Roy Van Kleeck
 J.C. Gainer
  WH. Laird



1933-1935
1935-1937
1937-1939
1939-1941
1941-1943

 Douglas B. Sale
 Joe D. Holmes
 Roy Van Kleeck
 J.C. Gainer
 WH. Laird



 SJ. Gainer
 Joe D. Holmes
 Roy Van Kleeck
 J.C. Gainer
 Harry W Peterson



 R.D. Newberry
 Dee Williams
 Roy Van Kleeck
 J.C. Gainer
 Bruce Vickers



 Dee Williams|
 A.L. Barber
 J.C. Gainer
 W.W. Nichols
• Randall Newberry


 J.A. Gilbert
 A.L. Barber
 WP. Worthington
 C.N Muterspaugh
 Bruce Vickers



1943-1945
1945-1947
1947-1949
1949-1951
1951-1953

 Dee Williams
 A.L. Barber
 WP. Worthington
 C.N Muterspaugh
  Bruce Vickers



 A.J. Childs
 Ira L. Hill
 B.V. Buchanan
 C.N Muterspaugh



 Ira L. Hill
 A.J. Childs
 Bruce Vickers
 C. N Muterspaugh
 WP. Worthington




• A.J. Childs
 Ira L. Hill
 B.V. Buchanan
 WP. Worthington
 C.N Muterspaugh


 Ira Hill
 J.R. Miller
 J.H. Davis
 John Pitts
 B.V. Buchanan



1953-1955
1955-1957
1957-1959
1959-1960
1961

 J.R. Miller
 Ira L. Hill
 M.B. Miller
 B.V. Buchanan



 M.B. Miller
 John Pitts
 B.V. Buchanan
 Burton Clark
 J.R. Miller



 Burton H. Clark
 J.R. Miller
 B.V. Buchanan
 M.B. Miller
 John Pitts



 J.R. Miller|
 B.V. Buchanan
 Donald D. Mowat
 Burton H. Clark
 M.B. Miller



 Donald Mowat
 I.S. Morris
 Wilmont Edwards
 A.J. Barnes
 Burton Clark
 Burford Freeman



1962
1963
1964
1965
1966

 I.S. Morris
 A.J. Barnes
 Wilmont Edwards
 Burford Freeman
 Burton Clark



 Ira Hill
 John Pitts
 I.S. Morris
 Isaac Byrd
 Wilmont Edwards



 Ira Hill
 John Pitts
 I.S. Morris
 Isaac Byrd
 Wilmont Edwards



 Wilmont Edwards|• Isaac Byrd
 Ira Hill
 I.S. Morris
 John Pitts



 Isaac Byrd
 I.S. Morris
 De Delaney
 Ira Hill
 Wilmont Edwards



1967
1968
1969
1970
1971

 Isaac Byrd
 De Delaney
 Ira Hill
 I.S. Morris
 Wilmont Edwards



 De Delaney
 Ira Hill
 I.S. Morris
 Isaac Byrd
 Wilmont Edwards



 De Delaney
 Ira Hill
 Isaac Byrd
 Wilmont Edwards
 George Gainer



 Isaac Byrd
 Wilmont Edwards
 De Delaney
 Ira Hill
 George Gainer



 George Gainer
 Wilmont Edwards
 De Delaney
 Ira Hill
 Isaac Byrd



1972
1973
1974
1975
1976

 Zollie Young
 William Peeke
 George Gainer
 Isaac Byrd
 Wilmont Edwards



 Isaac Byrd
 Jim Faircloth
 Zollie Young
 John Mullins
 William Peeke
 G.W. Hobbs



 Isaac Byrd
 Jim Faircloth
 G.W. Hobbs
 John Mullins
  William Peeke



 Jim Faircloth
 John Mullins
 G.W. Hobbs
 Ray Wagner
 Isaac Byrd



• Jim Faircloth
 John Mullins
 Isaac Byrd
 G.W. Hobbs
 Ray Wagner



1977
1978
1979
1980
1981

 John Mullins
 Isaac Byrd
 Ray Wagner
 Jim Faircloth
 G.W. Hobbs



 G.W. Hobbs
 Isaac Byrd
 John Mullins
 Jim Faircloth
 Ray Wagner



 Ray Wagner
 Isaac Byrd
 Bill Tolar
 John Mullins
 Jim Faircloth



 John Mullins
 Bill Tolar
 Jim Faircloth
 Ray Wagner
 Isaac Byrd



 



1982
1983
1984
1985
1986

 Isaac Byrd
 Ray Wagner
 Wilmont Edwards
 Bill Tolar
 John Hutt, Jr.



 John Hutt, Jr
 Wilmont Edwards
 Isaac Byrd
 Helen Ingram
 M.B. Miller



 Isaac Byrd
 Helen Ingram
 Wilmont Edwards
 John Hutt, Jr
 M.B. Miller



 Helen Ingram
 M.B. Miller
 Isaac Byrd
 John Hutt, Jr.
 Tommy Loftin



 Isaac Byrd
 Helen Ingram
 M.B. Miller
 John Hutt, Jr.
 Tommy Loftin



1987
1988
1989
1989-1990
1990-1991

 Isaac W. Byrd
 Tommy Loftin
 John Hutt, Jr.
 Ralph Burgess
 Harold Phillips
 S. Richard Seltzer



 Ralph Burgess
 Harold Phillips
 John Hutt, Jr.
 S. Richard Seltzer
 Tommy Loftin



 S. Richard Seltzer
 Tommy Cooley
 Mike Nelson
 Ralph Burgess
 Harold Phillips
 Cliff Fleming, Jr



 Tommy Cooley
 Mike Nelson
 Ralph Burgess
 Cliff Fleming
 S. Richard Seltzer



 Mike Nelson
 Jack Hamm
 Tommy Cooley
 Danny Sparks
 S. Richard Seltzer



1991-1992
1992-1993
1993-1994
1994-1995
1995-1996

 Jack Hamm
 Danny Sparks
 Mike Nelson
 Tommy Cooley
 S. Richard Seltzer



 Danny Sparks
 Carol Atkinson
 Jack Hamm
• John Robbins
• Rick Hurst



 Carol Atkinson
 John Robbins
 Jack Hamm
 Danny Sparks
 Rick Hurst



 John Robbins
 Rick Hurst
 Carol Atkinson
 Danny Sparks
 Richard Stewart



 Rick Hurst
 Carol Atkinson
 John Robbins
 Richard Stewart
 Danny Sparks



1996-1997
1997-1998
1998-1999
1999-2000
2000-2001

 Richard Stewart
 Marc Nolen
 Robert Wright
 Carol Atkinson
 Danny Sparks



 Danny Sparks
 Marc Nolen
 Robert Wright
 Richard Stewart
 Carol Atkinson



 Carol Atkinson
 Marc Nolen
 Robert Wright
 Richard Stewart
 Danny Sparks



 Marc Nolen
 Robert Wright
 Carol Atkinson
 Richard Stewart
 Danny Sparks



 Micheal J. Ropa
 Cornel Brock
 John G.Newberry, Jr.
 Danny Sparks
 Richard Stewart



2001-2002
2002-2003
2003-2004
2004-2005
2005-2006

 Cornel Brock
 John G. Newberry, Jr.
 Danny Sparks
 Richard Stewart
 Michael J. Ropa



 Jerry L. Girvin
 John G.Newberry, Jr.
 George B. Gainer
 Cornel Brock
 Michael J. Ropa



 George B. Gainer
 Cornel Brock
 Jerry L. Girvin
 John G.Newberry, Jr.
  Michael J. Ropa



 George B. Gainer
 Mike Nelson
 Jerry L. Girvin
 William T. Dozier
 Mike Thomas



 Mike Nelson
 Jerry L. Girvin
 George B. Gainer
 William T. Dozier
 Mike Thomas



2006-2007
2007-2008
2008-2009
2009-2010
2010-2012

 Mike Nelson
 Jerry L. Girvin
 George B. Gainer
 William T. Dozier
 Mike Thomas



 Mike Nelson
 Jerry L. Girvin
 George B. Gainer
 William T. Dozier
 Mike Thomas  



 George B. Gainer
 Mike Nelson
 Jerry L. Girvin
 William T. Dozier
 Mike Thomas



 Mike Nelson
 Jerry L. Girvin
 George B. Gainer
 William T. Dozier
 Mike Thomas



 Mike Nelson
 George B. Gainer
 William T. Dozier
 Guy M. Tunnell
 Mike Thomas



2013-2014
2014-2015
2015-2016
2016-2017
2017-2018

 Mike Nelson
 George B. Gainer
 William T. Dozier
 Guy M. Tunnell
 Mike Thomas



 Mike Nelson
 George B. Gainer
 William T. Dozier
 Guy M. Tunnell
 Mike Thomas



 Mike Nelson
 George B. Gainer
 William T. Dozier
 Guy M. Tunnell
 Philip Griffits



 Tommy Hamm
 Robert Carroll
 William T. Dozier
 Guy M. Tunnell
 Philip Griffits

• Tommy Hamm
 Robert Carroll
 William T. Dozier
 Guy Tunnell
 Philip Griffits
2018-2019
2019-2020




• Tommy Hamm
 Robert Carroll
 William T. Dozier
 Guy Tunnell
 Philip Griffits

• Tommy Hamm
 Robert Carroll
 William T. Dozier
 Keith Baker
 Philip Griffits