Shutts & Bowen Founder Frank B. Shutts Honored by HistoryMiami with Legal Leaders Award




Museum honors South Floridians who exhibit significant achievements

in the legal profession on April 8, 2015 

MIAMI, FL -- April 8, 2015 – Frank B. Shutts, who founded both the Florida law firm Shutts & Bowen and The Miami Herald in 1910, is among this year’s honorees for the HistoryMiami Legal Legends Award.

HistoryMiami’s 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society will present the Legal Legends Award April 8. In its seventh year, the event is being held at HistoryMiami museum for the first time and will honor South Florida lawyers, judges and legal professionals who have made positive contributions to the legal system.

“If there is a legal legend and pioneer in Miami, Frank Shutts has to be right at the top of the list,” said Bowman Brown, chair of Shutts & Bowen’s executive committee. “He was an Indiana lawyer who stepped off a train in Miami in 1909 to handle a bank receivership. He had a 15-hour ride from Jacksonville in the middle of a July heat wave, the mosquitoes were swarming, and he brushed off the coal cinders. He soon looked beyond all that and saw a great future here. He always looked forward, and built some of Miami’s most enduring legal and community institutions. I think Frank would be glad to know that our firm is as excited about the community’s future as ever.”

Independent and entrepreneurial, “Colonel” Shutts wasted little time. He founded Shutts & Bowen in 1910, and built it into Miami’s flagship law firm with partner Crate D. Bowen. In December 1910, Shutts founded The Miami Herald with a loan from Henry Flagler and remained as its publisher until 1937, when he sold the newspaper to John S. and James L. Knight.

Appointed a Lieutenant Colonel on the staff of Florida Governor Cary Hardee from 1921 until 1925, Colonel Shutts, as he was thereafter known, played an important role in many of the significant developments that transformed Miami from the 5,000-resident community he first encountered to the major international city it is today.

Colonel Shutts negotiated the City of Miami’s acquisition from the Florida East Coast Railway of the property that is now Bayfront Park. He was instrumental in bringing the Seaboard Air Line Railway to Miami, and in the construction of the Tamiami Trail and Dixie Highway. It was through his personal efforts that Carl G. Fisher became interested in Miami Beach and made his first investments in Florida, which included assisting John F. Collins in completing his wooden bridge across Biscayne Bay.

Colonel Shutts hosted the first meeting of the Miami YMCA at his law office in April 1916, chaired Y’s first fundraising committee in 1918 and was treasurer of that organization for many years. He was a founder member and one of the organizers of the Miami Rotary Club, and second president of that organization. He became chairman of the Salvation Army’s local advisory board in 1920 and long remained active in that organization.

About the 11th Judicial Historical Society and HistoryMiami

11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society is an affiliate member organization that is part of HistoryMiami. The influential group is made up of a network of lawyers and judges focused on preserving and celebrating the rich legal history of South Florida.

Honorees are selected from a prestigious group of nominees who have shaped the legal community for more than 25 years and reflect the outstanding legal heritage of Miami and South Florida. Other recipients this year include: Stuart Z. Grossman, Marilyn J. Holifield, Robert L. Parks, and Jose “Pepe” A. Villalobos as well as Judge Cindy S. Lederman and Judge Robert L. Shevin.

Since its inception in 2007, HistoryMiami’s 11th Judicial Historical Society has presented this award to some of South Florida’s most influential lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals for their extraordinary accomplishments.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

HistoryMiami, a Smithsonian affiliate, is the premier cultural institution committed to gathering, organizing, preserving and celebrating Miami’s history as the unique crossroads of the Americas. It accomplishes this through education, collections, research, exhibitions, publications and city tours. Learn more at 

About Shutts & Bowen LLP and Frank B. Shutts

Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with more than 250 lawyers in offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach. Learn more about Shutts & Bowen at

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Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with approximately 270 lawyers located in eight offices across Florida.

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