The Residence of W. L. Straub, 333 Fourth Avenue North.

The Residence of W. L. Straub, 333 Fourth Avenue North.

William L. Straub

Straub Court is named for William L. Straub, who built a home on this site in 1905. One of the city’s most notable early citizens, he owned the St. Petersburg Times from 1901 to 1912, when he sold it to Indiana publisher Paul Poynter. Straub continued serving as an editor until his death in 1939, broken up by a six-year stint as the city’s postmaster. As editor, he championed the preservation of the downtown waterfront and lobbied for the creation of Pinellas County, which was then part of Hillsborough County. The St. Petersburg City Council named Straub Park in recognition of his efforts. Straub and his wife, Sarah, also are listed on the monolith in Pioneer Park.

Straub designed the house himself and called it a mixture of Colonial, Queen Anne and other styles, although some labeled it Dutch Colonial Revival style. A sketch of the newly completed house ran on the front page of The Times Dec. 16, 1905. He lived there with his wife and their daughter, Blanche, until about 1923. The house was later owned by the Charles Van DeVender family. City Council designated the house as an historic property in 1995, but an arsonist set fire to it in 1997 and it was later razed. No one was ever charged in the fire. The historic designation was removed in 1999 at the request of the owner. A small cottage and garages on the property also were torn down.

Born in Dowagiac, Michigan, in 1867, Straub moved to North Dakota, where he became a frontier newspaperman. He served as editor of The Sargeant County Rustler and The Oakes Weekly Republican and managing editor of the Grand Forks Daily Herald. He moved to St. Petersburg in 1900 and, with a group of investors, bought the then-weekly newspaper for $1,300 ($41,849 in 2021 dollars.) Nelson Poynter, Paul Poynter’s son, succeeded Straub as editor. Straub’s daughter married Jay B. Starkey, who became a prominent politician and land owner in Pinellas and Pasco counties. You can read more about her here.

Tim Clemmons and Dar Webb developed the Straub Court Townhomes, which were completed in 2002. The initial residents included four St Petersburg Times alumni, among them Andrew Barnes, one of Straub’s successors as editor.

William L., Blanche and Sarah Straub.

Close to the ages they would have been when they moved to the Straub house in 1905.

The St. Petersburg Times

December 16, 1905.

Front page of the newspaper featuring the residence of the Straub family.

View the full front page

Thank You To Our Sponsors

In 2022 the residents of Straub Court worked together to raise funds and create a historical plaque highlighting the history of the Straub home. These friends of Straub Court made it possible to erect this marker celebrating our history.


  • Dan Bilder

  • Denise Bilder

  • Susan Clagett

  • David Cole

  • Charlie Eubanks

  • Todd Germann

  • Julie Hall

  • Kevin Hall

  • Helen Huntley

  • Liz Jack

  • Joseph Martin

  • Bryan McGuire

  • Bob McJennett

  • Glenn McKenzie

  • Anthea Penrose

  • Terry Rimer

  • Chris Stambaugh

  • John Ulm

  • Yuki Ulm

  • Elizabeth Warren

  • Vincent Warren