Edmund Francis Dunne

Died aged c. 69

Judge Edmund F. Dunne, founder of San Antonio, was born July 30, 1835 in Little Falls, New York. He went to California in 1852 where he was elected to the California legislature in 1862. In 1864 he served on the constitutional convention for the new state of Nevada and later served eight terms as a member of the Nevada judiciary. In 1874 President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him chief justice of the Arizona Territory. Dunne’s legal position that Catholics and other religious groups should receive tax funding for their schools caused President Grant to force his resignation. After his removal, Dunne was hired by Hamilton Disston, a wealthy Philadelphia saw manufacturer, to select lands in a four million-acre purchase Disston had made in Florida. In 1881, Dunne was given 50,000 acres of land to begin the Catholic colony of San Antonio. On February 15, 1882, he selected the colony’s site in Pasco County. By 1883 Dunne was promoting the area as "The Sicily of America." The Orange Belt Railroad brought regular shipments of goods and mail to the town and San Antonio was incorporated in 1891. The freezes of 1894 and 1895 decimated San Antonio’s citrus industry but Saint Leo Abbey, Holy Name Priory and Saint Leo University were later founded in the area. Judge Edmund F. Dunne died October 4, 1904.


Count Edmund Francis Dunne (July 30, 1835 – October 4, 1904), born Edmund Francis O'Dunne, was an American politician and jurist who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Arizona Territory. During his early career he served in the California State Legislature and as a member of the Nevada constitutional convention. His later life was spent building the town of San Antonio, Florida.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Judge Edmund F. Dunne

Judge Edmund F. Dunne [full inscription unknown]

San Antonio City Hall, 32819 Pennsylvania Avenue, San Antonio, FL, United States where they was