UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARIES
P K YONGE
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
FINANCIAL EDITOR, "NEW YORK EVENING JOURNAL"
ASSOCIATE IN JOURNALISM, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY;
AUTHOR OF "THE COMMON SENSE OF MONEY AND
AND SCHUSTER, INC.
CHARLES DONALD FOX
PRINTED IN THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA
THE RE-DISCOVERY OF FLORIDA
SPECULATOR VERSUS DEVELOPER
"WHEN WILL THE BUBBLE BURST?"
TRYING TO DISCREDIT FLORIDA-
WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S SPORTS OPPORTU-
WHAT ARE THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES?
HAS FLORIDA INDUSTRIAL OPPORTUNITIES?
HAS FLORIDA OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESS
AND PROFESSIONAL MEN?
S I 6
FLORIDA'S INCOME AND IN-
HERITANCE TAX LAWS?
WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S
WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S CLIMATE AND ITS
RELATION TO HEALTH?
WHAT MEANS HAS FLORIDA TAKEN TO PRO-
TECT THE INVESTOR?
* a a I168
VHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S
FLORIDA COUNTY INDE3
REAL ESTATE LAW
* *. 209
1926 COUNTY MAP OF FLORIDA, INCLUDING THE LO-
CATION OF THREE NEW COUNTIES
1926 STATE ROAD MAP OF FLORIDA
1926 RAILROAD MAP OF FLORIDA .
A GALLERY OF NINETY-FIVE SCENIC SNAPSHOTS OF
THE NEW FLORIDA GROUPED UNDER THE GENERAL
By MERRYLE STANLEY RUKEYSER
Author of "The Common Sense of Money and Investments";
Financial Editor of "The New York Evening Journal";
Associate in Journalism, Columbia University, New
York; formerly Financial Editor, "New York
Herald-Tribune" and "Vanity Fair"
IN America, our aggregate riches in recent years have
been multiplying more rapidly than popular knowledge
about the science of wealth, despite the unprecedentedly
large output in the last five years of books about eco-
nomics. Even substantial men of property are sometimes
almost childish in their nalvete in investment matters.
On the whole, however, the common man in the United
States is far better schooled than a decade ago when Frank
A. Vanderlip lamented the economic illiteracy of the
The Florida boom constitutes a classic example of public
guilelessness in this field. America is divided into two
great camps: the believers and the unbelievers. Those
with faith, who, up to this writing, have been the chief
gainers thus far, feel with a deep sense of mysticism that
the road to easy wealth is to be found in the district where
centuries ago Ponce de Leon searched in vain for the
fountain of perpetual youth. On the other hand, the
skeptics envisage the Florida rise as a mere bubble which
in the course of time will burst and become dissipated.
They see no future for the semi-tropical peninsula and
look upon the current development as the greatest economic
delusion since Ponzi hoodwinked the Connecticut-and
Massachusetts-Yankees. In support of the latter view,
its proponents call attention to the fact that salesmen,
schooled in blue sky stock promotion, have migrated to
Florida in recent months.
Charles Donald Fox in "The Truth About Florida,"
injects an adult point of view into these mental specula-
tions. He does signal service in reminding an emotional
population that the laws of human nature have not been
repealed even in Miami. He contributes to sound think-
ing by recalling forcefully that the principles of economics
over the long pull operate equally in all places. When
the current habit is to indulge in generalities, he performs
a useful task in making available ascertainable facts about
climate, soil, other natural resources and traffic condi-
Of course the time has not yet come to write of the
Florida boom in historical perspective. The quickened
growth is news-not history. Mr. Fox writes as a jour-
nalist; the volume contains up-to-the-minute information
and from the practical standpoint is of infinitely more value
than a carefully wrought Ph.D. dissertation will be many
years after the event. Mr. Fox has done a reporting job.
He has gone to official sources in quest of dependable in-
formation. Instead of searching for truth among Chamber
of Commerce secretaries and real estate vendors, he has
sought out primary sources. He has irrigated statistics
with the water of his own keen observation. He has tem-
pered quotations with his own homely belief that the law
of action and reaction, which operates elsewhere, is not
likely to skip past even the sun-kissed shores of Palm Beach.
The buyer of land or securities should first decide
whether a proposition is legitimate-that is, free from fraud.
,Then, if authentic, he should inquire whether the price is
right. Bona fide corner lots in genuine communities like
New York sometimes prove unprofitable if bought at too
high a price. The question of value involves individual
judgment and fis a speculative matter. No book can act
as a substitute for independent thinking. It can at best
merely supply additional information and viewpoints to
facilitate the exercise of sound judgment by the reader.
After a long and spectacular rise, prices need to be
challenged with greater skill than at any other stage of
an economic cycle. In present-day Florida, values are
uneven, with some districts excessively exploited. More-
over, the melodramatic process of crowding years of de-
velopment into a comparatively few months invites almost
certain growing pains. Municipal and public utility serv-
ices can hardly hope to keep apace. In real estate booms
in Western cities twenty-five to forty years ago, there was
a disposition to lock up capital in ill-advised improve-
ments and premature construction. Moreover, technical
difficulties arise in the matter of real estate transfers. The
venturesome buyer should be carefully advised concern-
ing the validity of the title in cases where a parcel has
changed hands many times. In newer communities, data
on previous owners are less readily available than in the
older cities where the records have been carefully com-
piled by experts through many decades.
The long neglect of the assets of Florida was a strange
phase of the conquest of a continent. Florida's retarded
growth of the last fifty years was one aspect of the
backwardness of the South. The new rebirth of Florida
likewise is a part of the economic renaissance of the whole
district south of the Mason and Dixon Line.
Florida is now caught in the sweep of national pros-
perity. The abundance of wealth is seeking new outlets,
and real estate speculation in all parts of the country is
proving a lure to deep-seated gambling instincts. Florida
has been edging itself to the forefront of public conscious-
ness by all the skillful devices known to advertising psy-
chologists. By outlawing state income and inheritance
taxes, Florida richly capitalized the r6le of being different.
Behind the boom in some sections lies more than sales-
men's chatter. The foundation stones of Florida's new
development are held together by a more endurable
cement than hot air. The new passion for winter
tions of America's growing aristocracy of the well
is adding new values to great areas which hitherto
unwanted. The extensive new railroad construction
cates that some of the best banking minds of Wall
are betting that there is something substantial t
Florida of the future.
Those who foresaw the development which is now 1
place have laid claims on the community for large per-
sonal fortunes. The spectacle of such gains is attracting
tens of thousands of less acute men and women to the
scene of action. In their frenzied enthusiasm, many are
no doubt destined to buy corer lots in cities and sub-
divisions of swamp lands in country districts at or near
peak prices. They will buy with no sure sense of values,
which, in the last analysis, are conditioned by current and
prospective earning power, but merely because they expect
to resell at a profit. The transfer of contracts from one
buyer to another will go merrily on for a time like the
passing of a push ball. Then all of a sudden the man
who holds the ball will without warning find that no one
will take it from him.
The collapse in over-exploited land values, which even-
tually is reasonably certain to come, is likely to be more
precipitate than the break at the top of a long bull move-
ment in stocks, for no short interest of effective pessi-
mists will be potentially ready to mitigate the decline by
covering their commitments during waves of panicky sell-
ing. When emotion ceases to drive the public into
abnormal buying activity, the market for Florida land
will no doubt tend to narrow and the holder of parcels
bought at high prices may conceivably have to wait for
many years before he can get out whole. And this com-
ment relates only to the problems of the sane buyer of
what he believes he is getting; the man, who, on the other
hand, blindly purchases parcels described in booklets with-
out seeing the land or even checking up its worth through
local real estate boards
appraisers, if they can
of his delinquencies on
heavy personal losses.
It is my opinion that
reaction is over, Florida
,or better still through
be found, can perhaps
ly through the pain of
after the whole cycle of rise and
will find itself far stronger, better
known, and more populous than before this speculative
mania in real estate began two or three years ago. Florida
has a good future, no doubt, but the land speculator should
ask himself whether the particular parcel he is investi-
gating is cheap. In rational times, one can even believe
that there is something solid in Florida without becoming
a sucker or a goat.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
THE RE-DISCOVERY OF FLORIDA
SCHOOL histories credit Juan Ponce de Leon with hav-
ing been the discoverer of Florida. The Spaniard had
heard marvelous tales of the gold to be obtained in the new
land, and these stories, coupled with the pretty legend of
the existence of a spring whose magic waters would bestow
eternal youth upon all mankind, proved so strong a magnet
that the soldier-adventurer fitted out an expedition and set
sail for the golden land in the New World.
The early dawn of Easter Sunday, March 27th, 1513,
brought the explorer within sight of the shores of the
Landing at what is now St. Augustine, he saw about him
a magnificence of floral splendor, and since this day of
discovery was Easter Sunday-in other words the Pascua
Florida or Feast of Flowers--he named the land "Florida."
Planting the banner of his native Jand on the beach of
the newly-discovered country, the explorer, eager in his
quest of the fabled spring and the fabulous wealth he be-
lieved the new land possessed, struck'boldly into the semi-
tropic jungle which rose about a mile distant from the
His efforts in locating gold or spring unrewarded after
a long and fruitless search, de Leon abandoned his pur-
pose and returned to Spain.
Four years later, bound upon the same mission, he again
set sail for Florida. Upon his arrival he met with powerful
resistance from the Seminoles, and suffering a dangerous
wound from a redskin arrow, he again took his departure,
passing on shortly after in Cuba, where he landed en route
In 1565 the Spaniards, under the leadership of Pedro
Menendez D'Aviles, founded St. Augustine, and it is from
that first group of settlers that the city-now a gem of
antiquity-gained its name.
Thus we learn that while Florida is being heralded on
all sides as the "newest" state, she is in reality the oldest
state in the Union, one indeed which already boasted of a
flourishing colony when the "Mayflower" sailed into
Florida has had much history since the day it was
sighted by the de Leon expedition. Perhaps it is impossible
to find such a variety in any other state in the Union. But
since it is not the purpose of this volume to deal extensively
in the absorbingly interesting story of early days in the
state, we will bridge the gap of time over the centuries
that have intervened
the peninsula was fir
record of the various
other than our own.
t Easter Sunday when
and the present time,
down the interesting
of Florida by nations
Spain had it from 1559 t
France had it from 1718 1
Spain again had it from i
Great Britain had it from
Spain again had it from i
United States had it from
Spain again had it from i
United States had it from
Southern Confederacy had it from 186i to 1865.
United States again had it from 1865 to present time.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
And now, after three hundred years of near-oblivion, this
much fought over state leaps suddenly into the limelight
focusing upon itself the attention of a nation, in turn
amazed to know that it has harbored within the boundaries
- of its shores such a land of romance and legend, incredulous
to take it at its face value.
Stripped of much of the glamour with which hundreds
of her well meaning press agents have clothed her, Florida,
just as she really is, presents a pleasant enough appearance
to make her most attractive-indeed one of the finest of all
the states in the Union.
Bathed in the caresses of the southern sun and embrac-
ing seas, wooed by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, this
land of enchantment should long since have reached the
zenith of its glory, the achievement of which it is now
Whatever attractions Florida presents to-day, aside from
the shelter which the hand of man has provided, existed in
Florida since the day the peninsula was discovered.
Whatever Florida had accomplished from the time
when the foresight of such pioneers as Henry M. Flagler
and Henry B. Plant provided systems of transportation
within her borders, to a period of approximately ten
years ago, can only be likened-when compared to what
she has accomplished in the last ten years-to the efforts
of an infant striving to scale the restraining bars of an
Hampered in her growth by the ingrown belief among
the residents of' her sister states that Florida presented
only a winter playground for the wealthy; hindered in
her development by lack of transportation and by lack
of understanding of her resources, the rise to fame and
f tune which Florida should have achieved generations
go has been delayed until the present era.
Now, with the tide turned in Florida's favor, with de-
layed recognition of the economic possibilities of her
climate and soil, Florida is forging ahead so rapidly that
already the state is riding on the crest of a tremendous
wave of development, bidding fair one day in the not
distant future to take her place beside those of her sister
states whose power, wealth and influence as a command-
ing factor in the affairs of this nation have long since been
Florida is America's last great frontier. Its conquest
invites the sons and daughters of those whose accomplish-
ments in sister states have made the nation what it is.
There is a tremendous task in Florida for those willing
to bend their energies toward useful and constructive en-
Nor is it too late to begin now, for those who
come at this time will be looked upon ten years hence as
A rich reward awaits those who, among the thousands
who migrate to this land each year, are far sighted enough
to establish themselves in either legitimate industrial, com-
mercial or agricultural pursuits.
So much for the Florida of the moment.
have been sung by thousands upon thousands of willing
Her fame is far flung and her attractions familiar
magnets which have drawn to her cities great hordes of
What interests those who are neither in the state, nor
of the state, is the cause of this sudden migration to this
land of flowers and sunshine, and the identity of those
who have participated in this movement.
boom that it is impossible to answer that oft-
asked question, "Wh;
giving many reasons.
at started Florida's
And, because the reasons for the
so varied, thus causing the boom to make its
appeal for life to all types of people, it is
that every class has been attracted
to Florida and
their presence in the state is their answer to the particular
magnet which drew them.
It is the belief of this
writer that of
nificance in pointing a reason for the boom, or at least
in analyzing its earliest conception, is the interest dis-
played by the United States government some years
in the agricultural possibilities of the peninsula.
Just as soon as government experts had proven
possibilities of Florida soil, local growers began to
finer fruits to northern markets. Then came the rea
tion that all manner of garden truck could be
profitably raised in Florida, and when farmers of
north and west learned that their southern brethren
the soil were getting
and sometimes even fo
and because of the short
in this new field, and
selves what was going
back, the fact remain
repeated for a number
as many. as three crops per year,
ur because of the soil productivity
t growing season, interest awakened
while many came to see for them-
on and only some stayed or came
s that when this process had been
r of years, thousands of northern
farmers were tilling the soil of their newly-f
In an effort to acquaint those they left beh
possibilities of the land, Florida's new citizen
enthusiastic letters, the tenor of which beck
recipients to come to this land which promised
And so they came. And so they spread the
state and the boom was under way!
Thus it was that with Florida's fame sur
Penetrating to the remotest corners of the c
italists and those commanding capital saw
which hitherto had borne the label of "Playg
Rich," possibilities of sufficient value to wai
ment in huge tracts of land, and develop
property in and adjacent to the larger citie
Thus we see another reason for the boc
With the coming of the real estate me
which boasted of a Chamber of Commerce
in advertising the especial virtues of their
ind with the
is sent forth
oned to the
fame of this
ely if slowly
in the state,
round of the
ment of the
With the first advertisements appearing in print,
city, town and hamlet in Florida finally awakened
fact that a new day had dawned for the state.
Subscriptions for publicity purposes were taken
merchants, landowners and residents of practically
community in the state. Much of this money was
wisely-some of it was spent unwisely-but all
achieved the purpose of advertising the state.
And so another chapter in the cause and develop
of Florida's boom was written.
It is a fact that ever since post-war days America
known great prosperity. Money is in freer circulation
ever before in the history of the country and people
learned how to play as well as how to work. With
perity on the upgrade, those of new
dependence have been quick to ape
One of the natural consequences
whom the prosperity wave has mad
the leadership of society and club
ly acquired financial in-
those who always pos-
of the desire of those,
e independent to follow
folk, has been to seek
out the haunts of the rich.
What better chance was there to give free I
desire than to spend a portion of the winter in
With literally thousands who had not been i
of doing this actually doing so in recent years,
friends were made for Florida.
And since countless stories telling of fortunes
rein to this
n the habit
almost lightning-like rapidity have come out of the state,
what more fertile ground for the further accumulation of
wealth could be imagined than Florida?
Known then, to many thousands, Florida had but to
become known as the seat of a great boom to find many
of these thousands hastening to her beckoning confines.
General prosperity then, too, must be given credit for
the part it has played in making the present boom pos-
And now comes what to the mind of competent judges
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
is probably the most important reason for the real suc-
cess of the present boom, for successful, and highly so,
this boom of booms has surely been.
What after all can make a boom? The answer is sim-
ple. The ability to get to the scene of the boom and the pos-
sibility of drawing upon a close-at-hand population to
add momentum to the boom-ball once it has started rolling.
To the writer it seems fortunate for Florida that her
boom came just when it did. Had there been any desire
among the people of the United States a few generations
ago to participate, as they now are, in the development of
Florida, that development could never have reached even
the first step on the ladder of fame and fortune which
Florida has climbed so rapidly that already her hand is
searching for the topmost rung.
And why, you question? Because what is probably the
greatest single contributing feature back of the reason for
Florida's coming into her own is not merely the belated
recognition of her economic possibilities, nor her tropical
climate which makes her so desirable a winter rendezvous.
These elements might have been recognized years ago,
but the same results that have been achieved in this gen-
eration could never have been recorded then, because gen-
erations ago there was no such thing as individual trans-
portation. Individual transportation, in other words, the
automobile, has most certainly played a peculiar rble in
assisting Florida to the position she now occupies.
Even from the earliest records of the beginning of the
boom, many thousands of people visited Florida each
winter in automobiles. To the stories they brought or sent
back to their home towns can be traced much of the free
advertising Florida has had for the past ten years.
All manner of people, and all types of automobiles, have
visited Florida. And there again Florida has been for-
tunate, for what has happened within her boundaries
could never have been brought about by any one group
in our national life.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
In other days prosperous farmers in Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Michigan, Illinois, New York and many other states
would prepare for winter and the long period of idleness
by making everything snug about their places and in gen-
eral doing everything that would defy the rigors of the
long winter season.
But that was before the automobile came. With the
advent of low-priced cars and their introduction in rural
sections, farmers began to travel about the country, and
when the fame of Florida as an agricultural state first
spread, thousands of farmers locked the doors of their
homesteads in defiance of the first flurry of snow and
migrated to Florida in their automobiles so they could
see at first hand what was going on.
With them went all types of workers who had heard of
opportunities in the "new" state, and many were accom-
panied by their families. Most of these migrated in the
early winter months. It was their purpose to see Florida
at the height of the "season," and so great was the con-
trast between their own bleak winters and the glory of a
mid-winter day in Florida that it was not a difficult task
for many of them to decide upon a permanent residence
beneath Florida's smiling skies.
So they came in ever-increasing hordes, until now, with
statistics available, it is seen that the migration to Florida
easily outstrips in numbers and speed the many previous
migrations of Americans to other parts of the country.
The most picturesque part of the country's history is
written about previous migrations of note, and now in
Florida there is taking place a living drama of migration,
the counterpart in many respects, if not in appearance, of
those former movements which are so symbolic of the
glorious traditions of the American pioneering spirit.
It is not, however, difficult to understand why this
newest of migrations has assumed such huge proportions
if one will consider Florida's proximity to the great eastern
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
centers of population, and the luxury of modern methods
In California, whose gold rush in 1849 was probably
the most spectacular of all, we find that the census figures
for 1850 reveal the fact that only 92,597 people populated
the state, while in I86o-ten years later--the Pacific
coast state had a population of but 379,994, or, in actual
figures, only a few more than have settled in Florida in
the last two years.
The same holds true of the Oregon boom in the I840's
when, in almost ten years, less than 40,000 inhabitants
were attracted to the state. The opening of Oklahoma-
the Klondike-the famous "Pike's Peak or Bust" Colorado
boom in I858-and other migrations of lesser note, failed
to attract even as many people as some of the cities in
the state of Florida have attracted exclusively to them-
With hundreds of thousands of new residents of the
state seeking new homes, or sites upon which to build
them, there arose a tremendous demand for Florida prop-
erty. Where demand exists there you will find conditions
booming, and who is there who will say that the major
portion of this demand was not created because of the
ease with which people could come to Florida?
Because of the location of Florida as compared to the
seat of Pacific Coast and Northwest migrations of former
years, the railroads make a transportation rate to any part
of the state which must immediately strike the tourist
as being far less than the cost of travel to those more
Coastwise steamship companies offer to transport one
from as far north as New York City to as far south as
Miami for between $50 and $6o, and this sum provides
for a comfortable berth in a stateroom, as well as excel-
lent meals en route and the added attraction of either a
two or a three-day ocean voyage, depending upon the route
It must now be apparent to the reader that transporta-
tion played the stellar r61e in bringing about the boom con-
dition in Florida. Inaccessibility caused Florida's recog-
nition to be delayed only until transportation mediums
were provided for the masses, and until low-priced cars
made their appearance.
Thus far I have referred to the remarkable growth of
Florida as a boom, because it is the accepted term by
which those who live outside the state think of conditions
within Florida's borders. Is this word "boom," however,
the proper term to use when one desires to speak about
the tremendous activity going on in Florida?
I hardly think so.
I have seen entire city blocks of new and substantial
steel and concrete buildings rise upon ground which only
a few years ago possessed very little value. Where
miniature jungles defied trespass a short
moth hotels of fire-proof construction,
permanent use, now stand.
Packing plants, port and railroad ex
tracking railroad lines already in the stat
telephone and telegraph wires, and large
thousands of miles of newly-paved high
time ago, mam-
solidly built for
e, scores of new
:e terminals and
Ways are surely
not symbols of a mere boom.
Certainly all of this activity, representing the invest-
ment of hundreds of millions of dollars by far-sighted
American capitalists, is not associated with a boom, in
the sense in which the word is commonly used.
On the contrary, this writer sees in the interest financiers
are taking in Florida the final recognition of the virtues
of the nation's most southernly state by the monied powers
There is reflected in the great migration to Florida the
natural result of the knowledge, that here, within thirty-
six to forty hours' train travel of sixty millions of our
population, lies a land of upwards of thirty million acres.
Two-thirds of this immense area is capable of agricultural
development, and because Nature has cast her favoring
smile upon it above practically all other sections of our
country, it is capable of producing enough foodstuffs of
a score of varieties to satisfy the demands and needs of
half the population of the United States.
Knowing all these facts as we now do, and desiring
to obtain a truthful picture of the Florida of to-day, is it
consistent with that desire to continue to refer to it as a
"boom" state, or does it not behoove those who are
seriously thinking of locating in Florida to realize that the
state is growing by leaps and bounds ?
Is it not well for people interested in the state to realize
that what is happening here is no different from what
happened in other sections of our country, where wilder-
nesses have been turned into thriving communities in the
process of creating great wealth for the landowner?
Draw upon your memory or upon history as it is re-
corded and you will discover that if the development of
Florida is to be likened to a boom, then the development
of our whole country is simply the result of a series of
Florida would long since have been one of our ranking
states had she been possessed of even half the transporta-
tion facilities which other states in the Union boast of.
What she has to offer to-day she has always had. It
required the knowledge of what she has to become public
property for the present great interest in her possibilities
to be awakened. And public property this knowledge did
become just as soon as transportation facilities were pro-
vided. Not, mark you, transportation by railroads now
traversing the state, and which in reality were the last in-
stitutions to awaken to Florida's real worth, but individual
transportation as provided by the automobile. -
And now with the development of the state well under
way, people who are not familiar with happenings in
Florida are asking, "How long will the boom last?"
Again I believe the answer is simple. There is no reason
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
to believe that the development of Florida will ever cease.
Railroads, now recognizing Florida's future, are double-
tracking their systems, new extensions are being made, and
new highways laid, all of which will open millions of acres
of land to settlement which has hitherto been inaccessible.
Florida's climate is a permanent fixture, and the pro-
ductivity of her soil is being increased each day as drainage
engineers are solving the problems confronting them. Peo-
ple will come to Florida in ever-increasing numbers now
that she has finally attracted the notice and attention of
Therefore, I believe the so-called "boom" will last for-
ever, for there can be no let-up to the development of a
state which offers so much to so many classes of people.
So let me record once again-there is no boom in Florida.
The state is merely doing in a few years what it would
ordinarily take decades to do. It is doing all this on a
permanent basis. It is building for the future. It is turn-
ing the tables on the usual development procedure-it is
speeding up the future and making it the present.
SPECULATOR VERSUS DEVELOPER
M UCH has been written and said about the migration
to Florida, but when such a phenomenon occurs,
gossip adds to actual fact so that those who wish only truth
People are pouring into Florida. That is an actual fact.
As I write these lines sitting by my window in a room in
the San Juan Hotel in Orlando, I see beneath me pavements
literally jammed with people. And this is November Istl
The season has not yet begun. Those hordes I see are
merely the advance guard-an indication of what Florida
may expect when winter sets in.
Nor do we have to depend upon idle rumor for an esti-
mate of the crowds that are flocking to Florida. The rail-
road men themselves, those keen observers of the current
of human travel, give corroborative testimony to the num-
ber of people who are headed southward.
An official of the Florida East Coast Railroad, which
is but one of the many roads carrying passengers to Florida,
has recently stated that:
"The greatest number of southbound passengers
handled in one day over the road in the winter of
1924 was 2,206. During one day in September, 1925,
the number of southbound passengers totaled 2,650,
and on a Sunday in October, 1925, a new high mark
was established at 3,039. The greatest number of
trains operated over a single division in one day during
last winter was 56. One day in September we operated
62 trains in one division. With ample facilities, the
maximum capacity for operating trains satisfactorily
on a single track railway is placed at 40 trains per
day. With this greater number of trains that have
been handled, it can be easily seen how remarkable
our operating performance has been. As the south
grows the southern railroads must keep pace. Freight
traffic of the southern roads has nearly doubled in ten
years. In this regard I will say that the freight busi-
ness handled by the Florida East Coast Railway during
June, 1925, was 104 per cent greater than was handled
in June, 1924, and, conservatively speaking, we are
handling 60 per cent more freight now in October,
1925, than we did a year ago. Certainly our freight
business has more than doubled in the past two years."
So we know that the railroads
cargoes, all eager for a glimpse c
with the majority of them likely
attractions of her flowered acres.
But what is the real magnet
many of their number will settle p
Probably the great majority of
who are streaming into the state in
have made the migration because of
Stories of fortunes to be acq
brings many of them to Florida,
are merely idly curious. Others,
vacation planned long before the
are freighted with human
if the newest golden state,
to succumb to the varied
attracting them, and how
permanently in Florida?
these masses of people
the lure of easy money.
uired almost overnight
while some, of course,
perhaps, are enjoying a
boom and now being
intently pursued, since there is the possibility of
business with pleasure.
But, if my recent close-at-hand view of every
the state is to be recorded truthfully, I must say
who did not come to speculate in Florida's golden
very much in the minority.
Probably less than xo per cent of the people i
on the November day I write these lines, did no
t come to
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
buy land either for their own use or for speculative pur-
At least 90 per cent of the people now in Florida are
intent on land speculation, and they are purchasing Florida
property for the sole purpose of reselling it at a profit.
Nor need they wait long for buyers, with the majority
of those crowding into the state seeking an opportunity to
purchase their land.
Everyone is intent on profiting by the boom and de-
termined to grow rich, and, if possible, to do this over-
So few of the present buyers of Florida land seek it for
development purposes that people are daily buying property,
the location of which they know nothing about.
A blueprint suffices, for other buyers, as ignorant of the
land's location as they themselves are, await the opportunity
to purchase their holdings.
Land that has an immediate resale value-land which will
produce an overnight profit-that is what the mob is eagerly
Title to the property, either actual, or the option equiva-
lent to potential ownership, is all that is being sought, and
it does not matter much where the parcel is located, or
whether its soil be of one kind or another, if only the land
possesses a resale value.
Unfortunately, the foresight of capitalists, who are un-
derwriting gigantic programs of land development and ex-
pansion of established utility and shipping services, has
been a magnet to attract a class of real estate agents and
brokers who are making no effort to participate in Florida's
actual development. To them, the boom means nothing
more than a mad scramble for easy money.
There are two distinct classes operating in Florida to-day.
One class is composed of the 'gambling element which is
seeking a fortune, but which is unwilling to work for it-
the other represents the monied men who have honestly
financed the splendid developments they are sponsoring.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
The former class are staging a new kind of gold rush,
for theirs is a rush without the gold-an oil bonanza without
We have known gold booms in Colorado, California and
the Klondike. But these booms were based on tangible
assets, for there was actually ore that could be taken from
Oklahoma, Texas, and again California, have known oil
booms. These booms also were based on actual possi-
bilities, for development of the lands produced highly
Those who participated in these booms were no less
anxious for easy money than are those who are participat-
ing in Florida's boom.
) The difference, however, is that those adventurers of
ore stirring days of the past were willing to bend their
energies in constructive efforts-in other words, they were
willing to work for the easy money they hoped to earn.
Your modern adventurer knows none of the hardships
of the "Forty-Niners." Transportation has developed tre-
mendously since those pioneer days, and anyone with just
a few dollars and a few hours' patience can arrive at the
scene of the new boom.
Naturally, with the hardships of travel of olden days
unknown to-day, the sturdy stock those other booms at-
tracted has been supplanted by a polished, suave, well-
dressed mob. Calloused hands-the symbol of participation
in booms of old-are supplanted by diamonds and bank
accounts fattened on Florida climate and sunshine, for
Florida "pioneers" are dealing mainly in little slips of
paper-those precious contracts which give one land to
In Florida there are no ores to be mined in the search
for gold, no wells to be sunk in the quest for gushers. Land
only is dealt in, and that is being sold and resold at ever
increasing prices. So rapidly have prices for Florida land
advanced that the actual value of much of the land has long
since ceased to keep pace with the gambling value of it.
To those who are gambling in Florida land-and they
are in the n
the land is
So few s
it will earn
for sale finch
on the day
there is an
for a tract,
majority of those who deal in land in the state-
worth what it will bring.
top to consider the land's actual value-what
when the present gambling wave shall have
hat those who offer halfway desirable lands
i their offerings snapped up, in many instances
Asked for the land is of little importance, for
hysterical belief that regardless of what is paid
it has a greater resale value.
these purchasers are seeking home sites.
land that can be sold at an advance in price appeals to
the gambler, and he will pay any price to secure it.
Because of the tremendous activity of the gambling
quota, the true significance of what is going on in Florida
to-day has been almost entirely lost sight of.
Other chapters of this volume will illustrate some of the
many reasons why capital was attracted to Florida in the
first place. Just now I am concerned about directing the
reader's attention to the second class that is operating in
In and about well populated communities having ade-
quate economic reasons for being, and also in the direct
path of development plans the immediate future will see
launched, highly reputable and thoroughly legitimate land
development companies have founded new cities.
In some of these developments, many thousands of peo-
ple are already residing amidst a beauty of surroundings
unknown in their former home cities. Here honest endeavor
has resulted in creating values where none e
This is the class of Florida real estate men
estly trying to attract those buyers who are
the legitimate growth of the state.
Following chapters will tell of what has
safeguard the investor in Florida land and h
who are hon-
been done to
Florida realtors and the organizations they support have
combined in their efforts to drive the undesirables out
of the state.
The time when speculation will cease is not distant.
Prices for land have been forced to such high levels that
they will of their own accord be compelled to tumble from
the dizzy heights they have achieved.
Thousands of residents of the state, truly representative
of Florida's true spirit-the spirit which stands for safe and
sane growth and development-are looking forward to the
time when speculation shall have ended and prices seek
a normal level.
Once Florida is ridded of the army of speculators which
is now swarming over the state, the steady progress that
has been made during the past five years in actually im-
proving the land with habitable building and business blocks
will amaze those very people who see in Florida's boom
of to-day only a wave of speculation.
The program of development of which Florida's present
building activity is a part will continue indefinitely. There
is no reason why it should ever cease.
Though much publicity has been given the remarkable
building activity going on all over the state, the spectacular
stories of fortunes acquired overnight, which the press of
America has broadcast in its pages, have served to draw
a veil over building records.
But it is these building achievements and what they
stand for that will endure long after the speculators have
left the state.
WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA REAL ESTATE VALUES?
FLORIDA is known as the Peninsula State. The greatest
length of the state north to south is 450 miles; the
greatest width is about 400 miles; and the average width
of the peninsula is about 95 miles.
The area of the state is 54,861 square miles of land and
3,805 square miles of water, the gross area being 58,666
square miles. Florida has 1,250 miles of coast line, which
is more than any other state possesses. The Atlantic Ocean
stretches along the entire east coast of the peninsula, the
Gulf of Mexico is on the west, and the Straits of Florida
are on the south.
In 1821 the United States paid the Kingdom of Spain
$5,000ooo,oo000 for this vast area. Thus we learn that Florida's
present day golden acres cost our government just 62 cents
Within the boundaries of this state there are aDDroxi-
mately 30,000 lakes, a great majority of them privately
owned and of negligible proportions. These are mainly in
central Florida and add greatly to the scenic attractions of
the state. Lake Okeechobee is the largest of Florida lakes,
this vast expanse of water covering an area of 696,320
acres. It is 32 miles wide and 34 miles long, with an
average depth of but 20 feet, and is, incidentally, the
second largest lake in America.
The inland waterways of Florida add greatly to her
present transportation facilities and future possibilities, the
many rivers of the state being for the most part navigable.
The principal rivers are the St. Johns, Oklawaha, Kissim-
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
mee, Indian, St. Mary's, Suwanee, Apalachicola, and
Manatee, and the waters of most of the streams are alive
From December to March the weather in Florida is
generally ideal. Within forty hours' ride or less from the
most rigorous climate of the north in the winter months,
Florida is situated at the threshold of almost 60,o00,000
people who may enjoy here the advantages of spring-
like climate and out-door activities during the winter
months. There is no lack of variety of things to do and
to see. Tropical verdure, the wonderful sunshine of the
far south, blue skies, ocean breezes, sparkling lakes, dense
jungles, wonderful ocean beaches, all manner of sports-
they are all here for the enjoyment of those who seek
Is it any wonder then that with these facts known and
with easy and inexpensive transportation at hand, hun-
dreds of thousands of people have been drawn to Florida?
And with their coming was it not natural that a great de-
mand for Florida real estate should have been so spec-
To-day, Florida resembles a checker-board. Wherever
one goes-east, west, all over the state-the land is cut up
into town sites. Some have a future, but many are
destined to become nothing more than the seat of opera-
tion for shrewd real estate men.
Forbes Magazine, in speaking of gambling in Florida
real estate, says:
"Florida has made money for those who had
money, and is making money for those who have
money. But victims of the get-rich-quick mania who
are sending money to Florida or going to Florida to
buy lots in the expectation of reselling them over-
night at a dazzling profit will be disappointed. Brains,
effort and foresight have yielded, and are yielding,
many fortunes in Florida, but blind speculation is
little likely to reap anything but
"Investigate before you invest."
loss and sorrow.
Investigation proves that it is the "high pressure" class
of real estate salesman who is responsible for present con-
ditions in many Florida realty markets. Their glib
tongues have ascribed a sales and purchase value to the
land which it is doubtful it will ever have in reality, and
it is against their operations that the newcomer to Florida
must be warned.
Such tremendous fortunes have been made by realtors
in Florida, both legitimate and otherwise, that to-day finds
practically everyone in the state dabbling in land. No
other subject has a chance in Florida. People in every
walk of life talk nothing but real estate, think nothing but
real estate, and I dare say many of their dream nothing but
Business men and women, lawyers, doctors, scores of
school teachers, even policemen, are in the realty game, so
great is the demand for land. One cannot blame them
for deserting their
considerably more in
In the previous
former activities, for they are making
Their new field of endeavor.
chapter it has been stated that pub-
licity has played its part in causing Florida to be enjoying
such unparalleled development and prosperity. If adver-
tising is one of the causes of this development and pros-
perity, what is the foundation of such advertising?
Plainly speaking, is such advertising based on truths which
really justify it? The answers to the above questions are
readily found if one will but take the time to investigate.
Agricultural experts are agreed that almost 95 per cent
of Florida's vast acreage is tillable, and yet only a little
over 2,000,000 acres of the peninsula's unmatchable soil
are now in cultivation.
With such a small percentage in actual production,
Florida produces and ships more citrus fruit than Cali-
fornia. Within five years, from the trees already planted,
Florida will double its output of these fruits. Already
the income to the present inhabitants of the state from
agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fishing, and mining in-
dustries is over $500oo,ooo,ooo a year.
To-day Florida has a population of approximately 1,250,-
ooo inhabitants, yet experts who have examined this area
are convinced that she could support with no difficulty a
population of 20,000,000 if she would develop her agri-
The credulous public, eager for an opportunity to pur-
chase Florida land, come to th
find gold upon the streets, and
find it there, so certain are they
ground, that many who arrive a
in the morning are land owners
e state fully expecting to
even though they do not
it must be secreted in the
t their Florida destination
by nightfall. Not enough
time is allowed by thousands of investors to analyze the
situation and make certain that they are buying fairly and
wisely, and from legitimate developers and realtors.
Forbes Magazine, which acts as a mentor to thousands of
business men, warns the public against a hasty purchase of
Florida land. With the headline, "Even Florida Is Not
Fool-Proof," in its October Ist, 1925, issue, this publication
"Sometimes a fool rushes in blindly and makes a
fortune in the stock market. But it takes a shrewd
student of economics to make money in stock specula-
tion over a period of years. Neither Bernard M.
Baruch nor Jesse Livermore made millions in Wall
Street without expending intense mental application.
Florida is to-day rivaling Wall Street as a magnet
for speculators. Unquestionably, many excellent real
estate investments have been made in Florida and
doubtless many more will be made, for undeniably
there are in Florida wonderful opportunities for the
discerning, just as there are in Wall Street.
"But throughout the country the delusion has de-
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
veloped that any fool, utterly ignorant of intrinsic
values, can gamble blindly in Florida real estate and
overnight reap a fortune. 'Investigate before you in-
vest' is the maxim always followed by prudent people.
It is just as necessary to follow this rule in Florida as
in Wall Street. There are times when any stock can
be purchased and a profit realized-when the whole
market is booming gayly. Florida, from all that one
can gather, has enjoyed a similar period. But such
conditions do not last permanently in Wall Street
and neither will they last permanently in Florida.
If you are wise, you will investigate before you invest
even in Florida, full of promise though it be.
"In many other arts of the country a boom is vigor-
ously under way in real estate. Indeed, real estate
speculation throughout the United States eclipses any-
thing witnessed in years. Even the stock market has
not boiled as violently as the land boom. Watch your
Often a piece of property has had the eighth owner within
thirty days. That being the case, the most rabid Florida
booster must admit that the price being paid for that
piece of land by the ninth owner is out of all proportion to
the value of the land.
The writer has spoken to a dozen of these "ninth owners,"
and in every instance they have laconically replied that
they did not mind the price they paid for their land as
they did not expect to hold the land very long, and when
they sold out their holdings a good profit would be added
to their purchase price.
Encouraged by greedy realtors to take quick profits on
their holdings, thousands of newly-arrived Florida land
owners are taking part in one of the greatest gambling
spectacles ever witnessed in this country.
It is most certainly not the purpose of this writer to in
any way deny the fact that Florida presents a splendid
opportunity for future profit regardless of what the nature
of one's investment may be.
There is every reason for Florida's rapid growth and
development, but what is deplorable about the whole situ-
ation are the methods used by many of the active realtors
of the state in disposing of the property they have for sale.
Attracted by the influx of people desiring to purchase
land and well aware of the fact that where there are many
people there is much money, scores of unprincipled persons
masquerading under the protecting cloak of legitimacy, have
come to the state in the hope of making a fortune.
To them Florida's future means no more than their pres-
ent opportunity to earn profits in the form of commissions,
but this class is usually neither resident of the state nor
representative of it. It is this type of realtor that the
reader must be warned against. He urges his clients to
resell their property almost on the day of purchase. The
bewildered client, dazzled by the
profit, does as he is bid and the
commissions on the sale of the sa
Typical of that situation is a cot
heard in a Miami bank where I h
Directly in front of me stood a
back of me was a man well ad
of the two greeted the younger as
Bob?" At the sound of the old
about, and grinning, waved a c
friend saying, "Yes, Dave, I'm h
tired of banking my commissions
is the fifth time I've sold it this
A healthy condition indeed for
but a most unhealthy one for the
Too much of Florida's splendid
pawn in the game which is sweep
earning power of a piece of land
been entirely lost sight of, beca
[ 24 1
opportunity for a quick
slick realtor earns many
me piece of property.
iversation I recently over-
ad come to cash a check.
ced in years.
man's voice B
ere again. I'm
on that Stanley lot. This
a salesman's bank account,
fifth owner of the Stanley
id land is being used as a
ing the state. The actual
in too many instances has
iuse too many people are
willing to base its earning power upon its sales value from
the gambling angle.
In Miami business property sold as high as $18,ooo a
front foot and in St. Petersburg property that sold in Sep-
tember, 1924, for $1,ooo a front foot was quoted a year
later at from $6,ooo to $7,ooo a front foot.
Why should property in Miami or any other, city be
worth more, in proportion to the size of the city and its
development, than property similarly located in any north-
ern or western city where the value of the property has
actually been demonstrated on the safe and sane basis-
twelve months a year-for many years?
Yet, though it must become a difficult task for anyone
to prove such Florida property not only more valuable but
actually as valuable as property similarly situated in other
cities, the fact remains that many Florida realtors who
encourage land gambling are selling their lands at consider-
ably higher prices than the same land would cost anywhere
else in America.
Subdivisions are being promoted in every corner of the
state, and often by people wholly unfitted for such under-
takings. Their success is possible because they sell on
what are alleged to be easy terms. They appeal to those
people who have no immediate use for the land, but who,
influenced by the stories of tremendous profits which have
been made in Florida, are buying now in the hope that
their property may be eagerly sought after by purchasers
in years to come.
Many of these purchasers are buying land sight unseen.
They are paying huge profits to slick promoters who have
created a subdivision with a fancy name by merely drawing
a lead-pencil through what should be an acreage proposi-
It is against these individuals and the too small unit of
subdivision that the writer is endeavoring to warn the reader.
They are a risky proposition and caution must be used
before an investment is made.
have been asked hundreds of times what I think of
ida land values and how long they will continue to
The answer is quite simple, for the fact remains
of Florida land as it does of any other commodity in
:h people traffic-it must withstand the test which only
itself can make.
those parasites masquerading in the guise of real estate
brokers-and there are hundreds of
permitted to operate as freely as th
them in Florida-are
ey have in the past,
then Florida faces a time when she will have to recover
from the hysteria attending these pioneer days in her de-
velopment-the time when gambling in her precious lands
will have ceased because of man's unwillingness to pay
higher prices as well as his inability to do so.
The greatest possibility for future success in Florida lies
in either the industrial or commercial worlds or in agricul-
tural fields. This is apart from the opportunities of those
who cater to a tourist public. As these fields of endeavor
gain force, real estate speculation; not, mind you, the pur-
chasing of desirable lands for home-sites from reputable
developers, but the wildcat type of speculation, will be
superseded by a tremendous business and agricultural de-
velopment, for when all is said and done, when pros and
cons have all been summed up, the fact still remains that
there is probably greater opportunity for success, for health,
wealth and prosperity in Florida than there is in any other
part of the globe to-day.
Some day, and there are many well qualified judges who
concur in that opinion, land in Florida will have to be
returned to its proper valuation. Soaring prices must bring
it down sooner or later, and the man who is caught "hold-
ing the bag"-in other words, those "ninth owners"-will
But to the entire credit of the organized and legitimate
Florida realtors it must be said that they are doing every-
thing that can be done to bring the selling of land within
[ 26 ]
lawful restrictions. Their activities must fast put a stop
to this sort of practice.
If the gambling value of much Florida land were sud-
denly wiped out, thousands of people who have purchased
land would be forced to suffer a considerable loss. And
that is exactly the situation which these same thousands
of people are facing, for values of undeveloped land in
Florida, in many instances, are now much too high. Florida
land is distinctly worthwhile, but the valuation some
realtors, interested only in commissions, place upon it must
be questioned by this writer.
"WHEN WILL THE BUBBLE BURST?"
A GREAT many people who have never visited Florida
and are therefore entirely unfamiliar with conditions
in the state are asking of everyone who can claim the
distinction of a sojourn on the peninsula, "When do you
think the bubble will burst?"
When will the reaction to the present wave of realty
speculation set in? This is a question heard less in Florida
than elsewhere. It is also a question which indicates clearly
that those who ask it believe the boom in Florida is in
reality only a bubble, likely to burst at any time.
In Florida they don't think the tremendous activity
going on in the real estate market is in any sense a bubble.
Some are so sanguine as to believe that there is not even a
boom in progress.
These individuals-and they are many in number-are
substantial business men, and they are pleased to believe
that the present activity is merely the result of a very
rapid fulfillment of a destiny which should have asserted
itself in their state long since.
These solid men expect a reaction, sure enough, for they
admit that in many cases prices for land are economically
wrong. They realize that the inevitable readjustment will
force many to suffer losses.
Indeed these "safe and sane" operators have told me
they would welcome this reaction immediately, for with
its arrival, trading would slow up and the undesirable
realtor who dealt only in lands in which much speculation
had been going on, would be forced out of business.
But to expect this readjustment when the tide of new-
comers to Florida is steadily rising, and the flood
money is rushing merrily on, sweeping aside ba
posit records almost as soon as they are announced,
replace old totals with steadily mounting new ones,
of the question.
Records show how rapidly bank deposits are mount
Florida. Millions are added almost daily, so we may
trading activity to show no abatement, at least until
ceases to pour into Florida.
Who is there who can tell when that time will cc
one could actually predict with ac
Venture to say at what general
id will stabilize?
hopes are for a population of
Entire east coast is becoming
i of America. It is predicted
curacy the date,
level prices for
close to a mil-
known as the
that the long
stretch of ocean frontage from Palm Beach to Key West
will one day be thick with hotels and resorts, residential
parks, sporting clubs and splendid estates.
The interior of the state is bidding for the development
of its cities and the growth of already great citrus and
truck farms which supply the winter markets of the nation.
The west coast demands that attention be focused on its
industries and its fishing and shipping activities. The claim
advanced that this territory possesses a combination
of all of Florida's attractions and will make
rapidly than any other section.
If enough people continue to come to
enough money comes with them, who can
Floridians hope to accomplish will not be ac
the break comes?
And both people and money continue to
But economic laws will finally prevail.
and stabilization of land values must come
doubt as to the certainty of Florida's continue
the certainty of its sustained prosperity, bu
?lorida and if
say that what
pour into the
A leveling of
. Mine is no
ed growth and
it I am firmly
convinced that its ultimate destiny will have to be worked
out on a safer and saner plan than now prevails.
To that portion of those people-and they are countless
in number-who have never been in Florida who shall read
these pages in their printed form, I answer that there is no
good reason why the development of Florida should ever
cease. This is but another way of saying that the boom
will last, and I am confident were those of my readers who
have asked this question here in Florida as I am, they
would be quick to see the truth of what I say.
There is so much to do in Florida, and there are as yet,
so few people here to do it, that what millions of people
are pleased to call a boom-but what in reality is only a
sudden realization of Florida's possibilities-can never really
The feverish condition of
in many sections of Florida
accord. Indeed, the activity
a boom entirely apart from
ment, has just about reached
If the rapid development
tinue, attention must soon I
land speculation now
will eventually die of
in land speculation,
Florida's present day
of the land itself is
be focused on the in
feature of Florida land rather than on, the speculative
With the state settled down to a concentrated expansion
and development program from both an
agricultural standpoint, this writer is bold
dict that it will not take Florida long to
enough to pre-
ride abreast of
those of her sister states who are already strong links in
the chain which goes to make up the power of the Union.
Of course all booms in land-in other words, rapidly
rising land values-must sooner or later come to an end.
It is that fact which makes it imperative for the seeker of
truth about Florida to learn to differentiate between what
is a boom, in every accepted sense of the term, and what
is really a sudden awakening of a state and the consequent
advance in her realty values.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
In other words, if you wish to appreciate the true value
of Florida land, you must realize that this state is doing
in a few years, nay, more accurately speaking, in a few
months, what should have taken generations to do. And
for that fact she deserves much praise.
Each day Florida's fame is spreading, each day more
people are learning of the real worth of the land in this
The widespread publicity coupled with the desire of all
humans to enjoy life to the full-and that can surely be
done in most parts of Florida-is causing more and more
people to join the trek southward.
This great trek is the biggest migration since the days
when the covered wagons sought the old Oregon trail. And
this hegira south will continue, for there is a lure about the
vast area which is Florida.
The state is most fortunately situated. Hugging her
eastern shores are the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, that
mysterious stream of inky black water which rises out of
the depths of the Caribbean Sea, courses through the chill
Atlantic, and finally disappears along the coast of Norway.
I have heard people say that if the Gulf Stream did not
rush by the east coast of Florida as it does-there would
be no Florida.
My answer has been that this might be quite true, but
by that same token there remains the fact that the Gulf
Stream does course by Florida's east coast, sending its
beneficial influence over the state, and will always continue
to do so!
Thus Florida is assured of her climate and of her floral
beauty. These attributes insure her ultimate develop-
ment and her power to attract to her cities in ever increas-
ing numbers, hordes of people bent upon recreation as well
as business and agricultural opportunities.
Even with the knowledge of Florida's previous handicaps
because of poor transportation and the inbred thought in
most Americans that the state was simply a rich man's play-
ground, people still ask why was it not developed before
this. Only ignorance of the amazing history of this state
is reflected in this question.
In the first place, under Spanish rule colonization was
never encouraged. Few know that when Florida had passed
to British control prior to the Revolutionary War, the terri-
tory experienced what was even a greater boom than it is
At that distant time upwards of 25,ooo people emigrated
to Florida, but when Florida was ceded back to Spain and
denied religious freedom the territory's newly-acquired citi-
zens crossed the border line into the United States.
When later the state became part of the United States
it was a slave territory, and that made it unattractive to
Then came the great treks to the west and northwest,
and so, as the paths of the empire builders led to those
sections of the country, homeseekers seldom thought of the
south and its great advantages, for though the Civil War
was but a memory, it required time to heal the wounds of
the internecine conflict.
With her growth and development entirely retarded,
with the state unable to keep pace with her more aggressive
northern and western sister states, Florida, denied the bene-
fit of railroad transportation, denied even regular inter-
communication between her settlements because of lack of
highways, was compelled to eye the panorama of nationwide
development going on all about her while she herself sat
Even when pioneer spirits spent much of their fortunes in
laying the first railway tracks, early exploitation featured
the new state as a land of impassable swamps whose waters
were alive with alligators and kindred life dangerous to
And so Florida had another handicap to overcome, for
the public believed the wild stories about this state which
were freely circulated in all American centers of population.
To-day, the truth being circulated to every corner of the
universe, Florida is coming into her own, not only because
of her intrinsic value as a place to live, but also because
thousands who have found a kindly haven within her vast
boundaries are contributing generously to her upbuilding.
With the lowering of the waters of Lake Okeechobee, the
fertile Everglades are being reclaimed, and what was only
recently thought worthless land is rapidly being turned into
the most valuable soil in all the world.
With this reclamation of millions of acres of Everglades
land through the state's comprehensive drainage scheme,
the foundation for a magnificent agricultural empire is being
Industrial giants in the making are springing to life in
almost all sections of Florida, with the result that already
many millions of dollars are invested in manufacturing pur-
suits not only in the peninsula cities where all manner of
commodities are manufactured, but also in the open country
where millions of feet of lumber and millions of dollars'
worth of naval stores are prepared for market each year.
Slowly but surely people are beginning to realize that
there is but one Florida; and if we are to judge Florida's
future by the intense interest manifested in the state in
millions of homes .both close by and far re
inviting acres, then it is safe to predict that
moved from her
, in the immedi-
ate future, Florida will enjoy such a migration as will dwarf
the present one in size and importance.
For some years past, Florida's east coast has developed
her facilities for caring for the winter visitor. Now these
facilities have been developed on a never before dreamed
of scale extending to the west coast, where St. Petersburg is
rapidly forging to the front as a tourist mecca.
Permanent homes in the state are certain to be founded
by hundreds of thousands of families, while no one will
deny that several other millions will each winter come to
Florida in an effort to escape the rigors of northern winters.
We know that business opportunities will be found where
many people live, and many people will continue to come to
Florida. Add to these the millions who are unable to tear
themselves loose from local ties, but who do find time for a
winter vacation in Florida, and it is not difficult to perceive
that the new Florida offers manifold business opportunities.
I do not wish to cast the impression that Florida is any-
body's land and that anybody can journey there and immedi-
ately win fame and fortune. Nothing could be further
from the truth. It is well to remember that the state is in
a newly found and most welcome pioneer era, and that
Snow, as in
all other such eras, living costs are comparatively
s is to be expected when hundreds of thousands
a land equipped to care for only thousands.
offers no particular advantages to ordinary labor.
Only skilled workers are needed. Florida must present a
cold welcome to the man without funds.
Success must be won here as elsewhere; what I contend
is that the opportunity for success is greater here than any-
where else in our nation, and for those who come equipped
by right of some special training to assist in the upbuilding
of the state, a golden opportunity exists. Multiplied in-
stances of rewards won on merit prove that opportunities
exist here if you are prepared to work hard and earnestly.
If you have sufficient funds to see you through the
experimental stages, if you know the soil, or if you are
equipped by right of successful business experience to grasp
one of the many commercial opportunities existing in Florida
now-come to Florida unfearingly and unmindful of ill-
timed and poorly substantiated derogatory statements one
can hear all over the country about this state.
The opportunity to wed fame and fortune, to attract
health and happiness, to gain a secure foothold in Florida
awaits you now.
To those who are really qualified for the migration to
this state and who see the handwriting on the wall, Florida
beckons with wide-open arms. Hers is a generous welcome.
For those who are seeking new fields and greater oppor-
C 34 J
tunities and yet who do not possess the imagination to
prompt them to leave old ties and sally forth to this new
land of opportunity, I have a deep sympathy, for if ever
opportunity sang her siren song to the great mass of the
people now is the time, and the voice one hears singing
is the voice of Florida, begging for just recognition.
If you are coming to Florida to participate in the wave
of actual development now going on despite land specula-
tion-if you are intent upon making a home for yourself or
if you are seeking a legitimate business affiliation in this
rapidly growing state-then you need have no concern
about the "bubble" or its threatened bursting.
Once you arrive in Florida
is in the throes of two booms.
gambling, with land as its ba
ment boom of tremendous prc
latter boom will be reflected ii
ing of the state, and the bei
will be shared in by all who
tention of assisting in her gro
you will realize that the state
One is confined to ordinary
isis. The other is a develop-
)portions. The results of this
i the future wealth and stand-
iefits of this legitimate boom
come to Florida with the in-
PS thousands of people are being dissuaded from
Sto Florida because of the belief in the word of
bankers, brokers, business men and newspapers.
Cities throughout the country, leading business
ng executives and even daily newspapers are
alarmed at the number of their population who either are
already in Florida or who have signified their intention of
migrating there this winter.
It is not difficult to understand, therefore, why the urge
of self-preservation should assert itself in the form of warn-
ings to their citizenry against migration to Florida.
For stressing the attractive opportunities existing in their
own communities both through the medium of the printed
word and by word of mouth, no one can blame these execu-
tives; but unfortunately there are bankers and brokers,
business men and newspaper writers, who, in their zeal to
defend the special virtues of the localities they represent,
have gone so far as to be deliberately unfair in their attacks
In more than one instance of which I have conclusive
proof before me, large daily newspapers with splendid
records for integrity and absolute honesty have either de-
liberately printed untruths about Florida or have permitted
their alleged investigators to publish stories about the state
which aside from being deliberate contortions of the actual
facts, are so silly that to this writer they appear humorous.
The State of Florida is part of the United States. It has
/ a government in keeping with all the sacred traditions for
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
fair play with which our national government is associated.
It is a state whose development has always been handi-
capped because of ignorance of her true worth. Now that
she suddenly leaps to the center of the stage in an effort
to secure her share of America's applause, Florida finds her
long-delayed and hard-won favor envied by many of her
I have lived for years at a time in New York, in Illinois,
and California. They are great states, each firmly estab-
lished. To each of this trio I owe a debt of gratitude, for
each has provided me with a stepping stone up the ladder
toward the ultimate.
But though I have always experienced a feeling of loyalty
to each of these three states, mine has been a greater feel-
ing of loyalty to all the states of the Union as typified by
the United States. Therefore, I personally rejoice over
Florida's good fortune, for Florida is after all a part of
these United States I am pleased to call my own. Her
good fortune is mine too, for she is part of the land I love,
and, as such, should be treated with the fairness all we
Americans, and all American communities, like to associate
our daily activities with.
In contrast, however, to the principles and ideals of fair
play for which our nation is famed, many communities and
individuals-and their mouthpieces, the newspapers-have
risen in the spotlight of their local importance to decry
Florida's amazing growth and development, blindly strug-
gling to so phrase their warnings that they would not give
the impression that it was their belief that the progress of
one part of the nation was harmful to other parts.
And yet that is exactly the thought their petty imagina-
tions are combating with and it is striking terror in their
To me the really amazing thing about this whole situa-
tion is, that these very people who are so quick to denounce
Florida and the opportunities she offers to the newcomer,
are supposed to be leaders in their communities, people with
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
more than average intelligence and possessed of a broad
understanding of human nature. If this is not the case,
how have they arrived at the important positions they hold
in their communities?
And yet with all their knowledge of human nature they
have been so lacking in foresight as to overlook the fact
that the American people are the most curious people in
the world. Either they have overlooked that interesting
fact, or they have attached so much importance to them-
selves, that they believed their simple assurance that op-
portunity did not exist in Florida was all that would be
required to stem the tide of migration from their cities and
states, Florida bound.
One of these gross errors they must be guilty of, and
their punishment, humorously enough, is that instead of
checking the rush to Florida they have so roused the
curiosity and so stirred the imagination of their citizens
by causing their beliefs to appear in the public prints, that
to-day finds more and more people intent upon seeing for
themselves just what Florida really is like.
So it is that their unfair and ofttimes untruthful allega-
tions have actually defeated their own purpose, and Florida
has received additional publicity.
It is regrettable that Florida should have aroused the
ire of so many of her sister states by the unparalleled suc-
cess she has achieved in an unprecedented space of time.
Her success was honestly obtained, and she is deserving
of the same measure of fair play from her sister states that
she has meted out to the sons and daughters of those very
states who are now trying to discredit her. When news-
papers take the trouble to misstate facts in an endeavor to
injure or mislead those who would take up their residence
or invest in another state, their action is prompted by
jealousy, and as a general rule the "knocks" act as a
boomerang. It is a habit of the average American not to
take too much for granted.
Utica, New York, newspapers recently printed disparaging
statements about Florida, while a Columbus, Ohio, paper
went so far as to carry a full page advertisement, evidently
paid for by the banking interests of the city.
The text of this announcement aimed to discourage
Ohioans who were depositors in the institutions represented
in the advertisement, from withdrawing their savings for
investment in Florida. People were urged to keep away
from Florida and particularly not to invest their money
there. The attractions of Columbus were pictured and in-
vestment in the city's properties was urged.
Such propaganda is ridiculous, and Florida need not fear
it. On the contrary, it must benefit the peninsula greatly,
for when staid and unemotional bankers are prompted by
either fear or hysteria to use newspaper space in their puny
efforts to halt a great national movement to a new land
within our own land, then it is certain that curiosity, which
is a characteristic of the American race, will assert itself
and people will do just as their own judgment dictates. And
what that judgment is can be seen on all sides in Florida.
Recently a great chain of newspapers centering in Ohio
and western Pennsylvania primarily, has accepted for pub-
lication in its columns a series of articles alleged to relate
conditions in Florida.
To this writer, who has spent many years in association
with newspaper men, it is unbelievable that such articles
could find their way into the columns of such a chain of
newspapers. Each and every one of the articles, without
exception, has been written so, that what are isolated in-
stances, such as can be found almost everywhere in the
country, have been held up as examples of what the general
conditions in Florida are.
These articles represent a deliberate attempt to discredit
this state. If the facts they purport to relate truthfully
were in reality soundly stated, they would not be offensive
to the intelligence of the reading public, but when, as is
the case, they are not only poorly written but stress at
C 39 1
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
great length poorly substantiated facts, they must needs
No defense of Florida is intended by the foregoing. What
I am endeavoring to do is to acquaint my readers with the
truth about the whole situation here, and I believe that
probably the greatest indication of the opportunities Florida
presents is attested by the many attacks which have been
made upon her.
Individuals may be possessed of the "wanderlust" in suffi-
cient degree to cause them to abandon comfortable homes
and well-paying employment. Such individuals, however,
are exceptions to the rule, and lack of conservatism prompts
them, more often than not, to yield to the desire to move
about the country.
Multitudes, however, as represented by masses of people,
are far more conservative than individuals. Therefore
when almost half a million people pull up stakes and make a
pilgrimage to a given section of the country, it is certain that
some sound reason caused the move.
Not only can that reason be traced to a dissatisfaction
with conditions at the point left behind, but as well, the
particular benefits of the new land must have been known
to the pilgrim.
Therefore it must be apparent that it is futile for or-
ganized attempts to be launched in northern and western
states to stop the exodus to Florida.
Florida's advertising focused the eyes of the dissatisfied
on this state. What Florida has to offer was stated simply,
albeit attractively. But surely advertising does not pos-
sess the power to cause a contented citizen to leave his
And by that same token, advertising, in the form of
specious and malicious propaganda, will never result in keep-
ing a dissatisfied citizen in one locality when he knows he
can do better in another.
WHAT ARE FLORIDA'S POPULATION CENTERS?
THOUGH all cities in Florida are certain to develop
tremendously for the next five years at least, I see
four distinct centers of population which will come to be
recognized as the most important in the state.
Indeed communities in these four centers are already
Florida's leading cities. What I see for them is not only a
greatly increased population, but their gradual transition
from their present status to the rank of class "A" cities,
and by that I mean not only Florida cities but representa-
tive American cities.
In the northern section of the state there is Jacksonville,
in the southern section Miami, on the west coast, Tampa,
and inland Orlando, with Sanford close by.
Jacksonville is the gateway to Florida, and though very
much a southern city so far as a mellow climate is con-
cerned, the commercial and industrial atmosphere of the
place breathes of the mercantile north. It is splendidly
located on the St. Johns River and accessible to the Atlantic
Ocean by a thirty-foot channel. Five trunk line railroads
enter Jacksonville yards. This city is probably the leading
industrial center of Florida, and possesses many miles of
paved streets and roads, many churches, schools and
There is a spirit about the citizenry of Jacksonville
has earned much goodwill for the city. When rece
talked with Mayor John T. Alsop, Jr., he said to me,
in Jacksonville we have a slogan, 'Pull with us or pull
There you have in a few words the spirit of the cit
that this slogan represents the spirit of the people is
diately evident once you have come in contact with
E 41 3
A neighborly reception awaits the newcomer to Jackson-
ville. It is a different reception than that accorded visitors
further south in Florida. Here you are expected to stay
permanently and make your home. In Miami, for instance,
you are looked upon as a visitor, a tourist, come to bask in
the hot southern sun and play on sandy beaches.
An outstanding feature of Jacksonville is, that with the
exception of Glasgow, Scotland, this city has more public-
owned utilities than any other city in the world. There is a
municipal power plant which not only earned in the fiscal
year of 1924 more than $6oo,ooo, but furnished cheaper
manufacturing power than any other similar plant in the
This and other earnings of Jacksonville's public utilities
form a considerable element in the reduction of city taxes.
tern, street car system
tion, swimming pool
citizens who wish
A park system c
ground and public
basin in the St. J
in this progressive
its own golf course, docks, water sys-
im, athletic stadium, broadcasting sta-
and horticulture nursery, which dis-
f thousands of plants each year to
beautify their premises.
over three hundred acres of improved
playgrounds as well as a proposed yacht
ohns River are other public advantages
The United States War Department in its port series
No. 8, issued in August, 1925, stamps its approval on the
port of Jacksonville in the following unmistakable lan-
"Jacksonville is a progressive port. Its city admin-
istration and its Chamber of Commerce are alive to
the importance of modern facilities and coordinated
management. Due undoubtedly to the combined
influence of the facilities provided by the city and the
publication of import and export rates through the
port, there has been a decided change in the character
of the business going through it.
No longer is this
business confined to a few crude commodities. While
the developments have been too recent to revolutionize
conditions, there has been a conspicuous increase in
through traffic. The most southerly of the prin-
cipal South Atlantic ports, Jacksonville has advantages
in competition with Gulf ports because of its lower
ocean rates to European points. Due largely to private
enterprise, Jacksonville during the past five years has
outdistanced its competitors in the handling of naval
stores, for which, indeed, it has become the most im-
portant depot in the United States."
Recognized as the lumber capital of the south, Jack-
sonville handles enough lumber every year to build an
eight-foot board walk around the world at the equator.
In other words, over a billion feet of lumber passes through
Port Jacksonville every 12 months, or 60,ooo cars. At
the mill this approximates a valuation of $35,000,000.
These shipments consist chiefly of southern pine, Gulf red
cypress and southern hardwoods. As a cross-tie center
Jacksonville leads the world, shipping during the past year
over three million ties at a valuation of three million dollars.
The heart of Florida's pine forests in the form of naval
stores, transferred in barrels and stored for shipment over-
seas is the story of Commodore's Point-the largest single
point of concentration of naval stores in the world. Of
twenty-five million dollars' worth of naval stores annually
exported from the United States ten million dollars' worth
leave from Port Jacksonville. With the passing of the
wooden ships, the term naval stores has lost its original
significance, but the volume of this Florida product remains
in the fact that it is the all-important product in the manu-
facturing of such universal commodities as soap, paint,
paper, printers' ink and a thousand lesser every-day utili-
ties. In the making of so small an item as fly-paper alone
one American concern uses as many as 15,ooo barrels a
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
Jacksonville is primarily an industrial community, and
the city leads the state not only industrially, but also com-
mercially and financially. There are 430 manufacturing
plants of 127 classifications with an annual production of
Of interest to parents whose children are still of school
age is the fact that the public school system of Jacksonville
and Duval County has kept abreast of the times and ranks
with the best in the country, from the standpoint of trained
teachers, curricula, buildings and equipment. The citizens
have always shown an active interest in the schools and
when called upon to vote bonds for building and enlarging
have always responded wholeheartedly. In February, 1925,
an additional bond issue of $2,500,coo was passed with
which to erect and equip new buildings and to enlarge and
reequip buildings already in use. The system includes
elementary, junior high, senior high, continuation and night
schools, each thoroughly supervised. All the standard col-
leges and universities of the United States have placed
Duval Senior High School on the accredited list.
In 19oo Jacksonville had a population of 28,429. By
x9xo this had increased to 57,699 and ten years later 91,558
were the official figures. The latest census figures, avail-
able in November, 1925, show that 136,663 persons now
reside in greater Jacksonville and from my own observations
I feel free to say that the population will continue to grow
for some years to come.
Bank clearings in Jacksonville indicate that a healthy
financial condition and a steady growth is being recorded
year after year. The official figures are:
1900 ....................................$ 12,733,048.64
1910 .................................... 124,657,071.62
1920 ...................... ............. 625,635,096.94
1924 ................................ ... 808,093,771.44
1925* .................................. 814,453,005.55
Includes Jan. 1st to Aug. 26th only.
E 44 3
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
Bank Deposits ............ .$23,193,254 $106,507,459
Bank Resources ............. 31,089,593 104,238,406
Though 377 miles north of Miami, Jacksonville enjoys
an equable climate. The average monthly mean tempera-
ture for 1925 was 51.7 degrees, minimum, and 86.4 degrees,
Thirty miles south of Jacksonville is St. Augustine, the
oldest city in America.
I have heard it called "The Mother City of America"
and called it that myself, so like a child did I feel under
the spell of its age.
A city of reserve and fine dignity, with time-scarred land-
marks standing defiantly alongside modern structures, St.
Augustine wears quite gracefully the mantle of distinction
won by being the most ancient point of European habitation
in the New World.
Long, dreamy streets, rich in a luxuriant growth of multi-
colored flowers, wind like ribbons through the old city.
There is a charm to St. Augustine so unmistakable that its
force is felt almost the moment the visitor alights at the
Anxious hack drivers shout their offers to show you the
historical points if you will but entrust yourself to their
doubtful looking conveyances.
Two historic spots claim the major portion of the visi-
tor's interest. One usually goes first to the old city gates
-erected four centuries ago-and having filled the eye
with a picture of their antique beauty, a visit to Fort
If by this time the dreamy spirit of the city has gripped
you as it did me, you will see once again as I did, in fancy,
the old fort alive with the swashbuckling buccaneers who
so many years ago fought their battles in and around the
Founded on the site of an old Indian village, St. Augus-
tine knew many a period of warfare between the whites and
the aborigines, until on July 12, x821, the yellow banner
of Castile and Aragon was replaced by the Stars and
Secure in the knowledge that each year many thousands
come to gaze with awe and reverence on her ancient land-
marks, the little city of heavily scented odors and languor-
compelling air dreams away the days amidst her many his-
Complete relaxation may be found here in abundance
should that be the magnet drawing you to Florida, while
the visitor seeking entertainment will find his every desire
anticipated in any of half a dozen splendid hotels situated
in the heart of the city.
Tinkling waters from many fountains make music for the
ears of tourists, all seeking a glimpse of the fabled Foun-
tain of Youth from which, it is alleged, Ponce de Leon
But though one would suspect that this fountain and its
surroundings would be one of the beauty spots of the city,
it is in reality a most ordinary place, inconspicuously lo-
cated about a half mile from the city gates.
Other interesting historical spots are the old Spanish
administration building, now used as the postoffice; the
cathedral: the Plaza de la Constitucion, a quaint and beau-
tiful greensward in the center of the city; the mission
building and the Franciscan monastery.
One could go on almost endlessly in speaking about this
and other Florida cities. But that is not my purpose. I
desire only to give the reader a brief outline of the cities
Just 179 miles southwest of Jacksonville is Orlando. All
about this inland metropolis are acres of growing things
which stretch as far as the eye can see. It is only just at
the present time that the truth about the fertile fields of
the hill section in the center of the state is becoming known.
Orlando, a fast growing city of more than 23,000 people,
E 46 ]
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
is typical of the new day in Florida. Here one finds ten-
story hotels like the one I am writing these lines in, and
ten-story banks, one of which rises across the street from
my window, a silent testimonial to the progressiveness of
this junior metropolis.
Five banks, one hundred miles of brick-paved streets over
many of which stately old oaks arch their twining branches,
thirty lakes within the city limits, department stores whose
splendid buildings speak quite eloquently of the importance
of the city as a shopping center, many smart little specialty
shops, always the certain sign that a city has reached the
stage of luxurious living, all add to Orlando's attractiveness.
More than sixty commodities are manufactured in Or-
lando, and the industrial plants of the city have a $1,ooo,ooo
per month payroll.
Commercially, Orlando occupies a strategic position in
Florida, situated practically in the exact center of the penin-
sula, the hub of the brick-road development of central Flor-
ida through which passes the bulk of travel and traffic and
of commercial supplies. Orlando is Florida's largest inland
city, the sixth of the state, and it is growing at a substantial
Orlando can well boast of a splendid climate, the ter-
mometer rarely registering lower than 64 degrees during
the six winter months, while the average for the six summer
months is less than 80 degrees.
There is everything in and about Orlando to satisfy the
most exacting, and this writer states freely that the future
of this city is rosy indeed. Opportunity lurks all about
the section of which Orlando is the center. It is in the
heart of the citrus belt, and young enough in actual develop-
ment to offer countless opportunities to all who come here
seeking a homeland.
The population of Orlando has gained 600 per cent in
the last fifteen years. In 19o1 the present city was a village
of some 3,894 people. Ten years later the census showed
9,282 people residing in the growing city and the August,
1925, figures have jumped to almost 23,000.
Building permits issued in the city during the six years
ending with October i5th, 1925,
1925 (To Oct. 15th,
are listed as follows:
The city tax rate for the current year is
60 per cent valuation,
which is equivalent
21 mills on a
to $12.60 on
every thousand dollars.
As an indication of how city property has increased in
value and has been developed, the following table of valua-
tions will prove illuminating.
They are computed on an
approximately 60 per cent basis:
1900 ..................... .............$ 1,088,793.00
1910 .... ........... .................... 2,113,653.00
..................... .... .. ..... 11,650792.00
............. ..................... 27,633 396.00
in 191o to $181,532.83
resources exceed $21,000,000.
Twenty-five miles north
of Orlando is Sanford.
city is in the heart of what is probably the most intensively
developed agricultural section in the state of Florida. In
1925 the city produced 5,874 carloads of celery, which
makes it easily the largest single celery producing section
in the world.
Sanford has a system of sub-irrigation which the Depart-
ment of Agriculture at Washington has pronounced the best
method ever devised for applying moisture to plant growth.
People interested in this method can secure an interesting
booklet on application to the Sanford Chamber of Com-
In 1920 Sanford's population was 5,588. Census figures
for 1925 place it at o0,5oo, an increase of 86 per cent.
The assessed valuation of the city computed on a 60 per
cent basis jumped $3,750,000 in 1920 to $11,550,648 in
1925, a gain of 207 per cent.
In 1920 Sanford's building permits totaled $13o,095,
while for the first ten months of 1925 more than a million
dollars had been added to the above sum.
On September 30, 1925, bank deposits were over
An excellent graded school system and an accredited high
school provide educational facilities of a high standard.
In comparing Sanford with other cities in Florida, the
subject of population should always be considered. With
this thought in mind, it can be conservatively stated that
few towns of a similar population throughout the state can
show more modern development than is found in Sanford.
Further down the eastern coast of Florida is Miami, situ-
ated just 377 miles from Jacksonville. Miami is probably
the most amazing city in America. Since figures do not lie,
we see at a glance that this is America's fastest growing
A few short years ago an Indian trading post skirting the
outer hem of an unknown wonderland, Miami to-day is a
city of almost xoo,ooo population.
Between 1910 and 1920 Miami led the entire nation in
increased population, with a gain
there a diminishing in Miami's gr
period just ended since the 1920
tered another 250 per cent popular
Miami's greatest claim to fame
opinion of this writer, be attribi
It is because this city takes untc
dreds of thousands of visitors eac
come known as the greatest reso:
of 440 per cent. Nor is
owth, for in the five-year
census Miami has regis-
will not, however, in the
uted to its rapid growth.
Sits friendly bosom hun-
:h winter that it shall be-
rt city in the world-one
indeed which will one day boast of a winter population of
at least half a million people.
Sa city of pleasure and sport wl
not excelled by any other city in
ing, hunting, horse-racing, surf a
in fact all manner of outdoor sp
in every day of the year.
deep-water harbor project will,
possible for large trans-Atlantic
iami a port of call.
lose facilities for
the world. Polo,
nd pool bathing,
*orts life may be
ocean liners to
Already this city is taking rank as an important sea
Half a dozen ocean transportation lines serve Miami
both passenger and freight service between important n
ern points like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Bos-
ton, while the Clyde Line announces a new addition to their
already broad Florida services in the form of a tri-weekly
service between Cuba and Miami.
To-day Miami is a bedlam of construction. There are
dozens of splendid hotels and other dozens in the making.
Stores, apartment houses, dwellings of all kinds are spring-
ing up on all sides in an effort to care for the demands of a
population which is growing faster than man-made shelter
can care for it.
Milling crowds jostle each other good-naturedly on
Miami's too narrow streets. Yet there is a spirit of hail-
fellow-well-met about the whole scene.
When eventually the building program of the city catches
up with the demand for business, office, and living quarters,
doubtless conditions in Miami will take a change for the
better, but until that time arrives the visitor to the city
must expect many inconveniences, and since by coming to
the city he courts these inconveniences, he should accept
them with a smile, realizing that he is witnessing the rare
phenomenon of a city beingiborn.
Symbolic of the spirit of permanence which is typical of
most of Miami's stupendous building program is the new
home of The Miami News and Metropolis, the leading eve-
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
ning newspaper of the state, which is owned by former
Governor Cox of Ohio.
This man has caused to rise on Miami's waterfront one
of the most handsome buildings it has ever been my good
fortune to see. When dusk approaches and the floodlights
about the cornices of the building are released, there is
presented to Miamians a spectacle of architectural beauty
of which the city may well be proud.
Here indeed is a monument which tells at once the story
of the idealism reflected in the superb buildings which
greater Miami is building and planning to build, as well as
of one who has considerable foresight and faith in Miami.
Millions of dollars in free publicity that could not be
bought have aided in attracting people from all over the
world to Miami. The remarkable part of the story is that
Miami lives up to its advertising.
Reports that are stupendous in their magnitude concern-
ing building projects under way, or planned, and real estate
transactions are sent out of the city daily. They are so
astounding that many newspapers will not print them before
complete verification has been established. Before confirma-
tion can be sent another larger development has been re-
ported and the remarkable thing about this is the fact that
the last six months' growth of the city proves many of these
seemingly wild tales are not wild at all, but are founded on
absolutely truthful facts.
The Commercial Bank and Trust Company of Miami,
officered by men who came to the city from Atlanta, Ga.,
announced on September 5th that its deposits had increased
approximately 1700 per cent in less than a year. This is
not only phenomenal but is probably the greatest growth
ever shown by any bank anywhere. In September, 1924,
deposits aggregated $850,ooo. This September they are
more than $15,ooo,ooo.
Skeptics may say, "But this is only one bank that had
unusual growth." The answer is that the 8 leading banks
of Miami increased their deposits from approximately $36,-
0oo,ooo in June, 1924, to $128,ooo,ooo in June, 1925, and
the percentage for July and August deposits was very much
greater than these figures would show for the same named
months last year. An amazing gain of 570 per cent has
been recorded in the very latest bank deposits of Miami.
These are $21o,ooo,coo for November ist, 1925, as against
$37,000ooo,ooo for November ist, 1924.
Bank clearings for the week ending August 22, 1924,
amounted to less than $3,000,000 compared with the corre-
responding week in
while the total for t
1924 figures for the
It is impossible to
the last six months.
and preliminary esti
71,ooo, an increase (
s of people
1925 when they exceeded
he first six months of 19
or an increase of 377 per
same period of time.
estimate the growth in p
In 192o it was placed at
mates of 1925 gave the |
)f 141 per cent. Since th
have come to live in Miar
cent over the
is last census
s been annexed making it "Greater Miami," and
s go so far as to claim that the greater city has
n of 200,000 all-year residents.
permits in 1924 totaled about $17,ooo,ooo. In
24, they were a little less than $2,000,000. In
Miami the total building in 1924 was above $30,-
In July, 1925, Miami headed the list of 25 leading
cities by showing more than $4,000,000 issued in
permits, while for the first eighth months of 1925
was approximately $34,000,000.
is so much talk of real estate in Florida and par-
in Miami that many people fail to realize there
teen diversified industries
overlooked that some of
is close to the greater city
are fifty industrial plants
a 2oo,ooo-acre plantation
of 450,000 tons and Dade
in Miami, and it should
the richest soil in the
and a $I,500o,oo sugar
near the city, coastwise
County, in which Miami
is situated and of which it
the county seat, has farm,
grove and dairy products valued at eleven million dollars
Surf bathing may be enjoyed in Miami
days in the
year and more than 6oo varieties of fish in the waters about
Miami lure countless anglers to test their fortune and skill
with rod and line.
The city is an international airport, Bimini, in the Ba-
hama Islands being but forty-five minutes distant.
can be reached in two hours, and Havana, Cuba, in three
and a half hours.
No port in the nation is growing more rapidly than Miami.
Shipping is increasing.
established. There is
year new water
now eighteen feet of water in the
channel from the municipal docks to the sea, the channel
being only four and one-half miles in length.
Upon its har-
bor, docks, and channel the city of Miami has spent more
than $2,ooo,coo and the Federal government has expended
The United States Army Board of Engineers
has approved deepening Miami's channel to
recommends an appropriation
for this work,
unanimous sanction of the Rivers and Harbors Committee
be the seaport for the
some four million acres of the fertile Everglades, and its
winter vegetables, grapefruit, oranges and tropical fruits,
lumber and manufactured articles will be carried by steamers
to the ends of the earth direct by water.
Miami Beach is connected with Miami proper by a splen-
did causeway. On the north end of the beach where society
holds sway the visitor may view an immaculately garbed
throng bent in a more or less furious way on entertaining
Miami Beach was once a barrier of sand upon which rose
a dense mangrove
Within the last five years it
has been converted into a winter playground of sufficient
lure to attract thousands of people who come intent only
Each group or clique has its own outlet
Polo is played extensively,
too, has plenty of
attention and is played on what are probably among Amer-
ica's most beautiful
the Roman pools for exhibition purposes, and
during the season the waters of Biscayne Bay, fronting on
the Miami Beach side
, are alive with yachting, sailing and
speed-boat racing parties.
Broad avenues invite the motorist and cyclist, and clay
courts lure tennis "fans" into strenuous exhibitions of their
Dancing in palm-lined open spaces or on splendid ball-
room floors is popular, despite what are frequently high
But Miami Beach is not the paradise Palm Beach
life in the elegant hotels on the north end of Miami Beach
is a strange contrast to the tawdry picture presented on
the south end of the beach where the "hot dog," favorite
of the masses, barks his appeal.
Even plebeian boarding houses have sprung into existence
undraped bathers parade the streets with utter
It is perhaps fitting that in such a chapter as this some
mention should be made of Palm Beach.
What a magic sound that name has!
is a resort that has been advertised
as has no other resort
To me, the sea at Palm Beach has always seemed bluer,
the sky fairer, the sun more golden.
There is a dazzling
white beach and many magnificent avenues bordered with
rows of palm trees and Australian pines which afford a fair
measure of shade for the pedestrian.
This is the resort of the lite.
Here one can
rama of life unfold itself in true magnificence.
see the pano-
is done on a lavish scale-even the
At eleven-thirty every morning
with a throng of society folk who
and then retrace their steps to hol
The afternoons are given over
size of the hotels amaze
the beach is populated
play about for an hour
tels and homes in search
to social and sports ac-
tivities of all kinds with dinner usually at eight o'clock.
There are many exclusive clubs and casinos, of which
Paris Singer's Everglades Club, and Bradley's, where for-
tunes change hands at the gaming tables, are the best known.
Society, wealth and fashion from all over the world have
been drawn to Palm Beach not alone by its beautiful hotels,
magnificent golf links and the most wonderful expanses of
sandy shore, but by the loveliness of nature, and the lure of
the climate. The stately royal palm and cocoanut palm,
the traveler's tree, the royal poinciana, the poinsettia, the
flaming hibiscus, the banana, the beautiful varicolored cro-
tons, flowers, and climbing roses and vines, the green lawns,
have made Palm Beach a semi-tropical paradise with gor-
geous, riotous masses of color, flowers that like the tropical
birds and butterflies show themselves in gayest tints.
Lake Worth, a beautiful
Beach on the west; while the
Gulf Stream is on the east.
Many of the social function
the world over. Such is the te
grove on the grounds of the
late afternoon. The setting r
given by a Rajah of India. T
draped by the graceful fronds
and trained waiters attentive
refreshments before the danc
music of a noted Broadwa
sports clothes; women in I
most famous costumers in t]
the approach of nightfall. '
inland lagoon, borders Palm
Atlantic Ocean with the blue
)ns of Palm Beach are famed
a and dansant in the cocoanut
Hotel Royal Poinciana, in the
night suggest a tea and dance
'he smoothest of dancing floors
of palms; white-spread tables,
to every wish, bringing in the
e. Then, the inspiring dance
y orchestra; men in correct
the loveliest gowns that the
he world can provide. Then,
'he setting sun, glowing like a
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
ball of fire, tinges the fleecy clouds with hues as delicate as
the lining of a shell of pearl, with purple, gold, and magenta,
and vagrant tints. Then, the colored incandescent globes
illuminate the cocoanut grove as a fairyland, while the
figures moving to the strains of the orchestra seem to the
distant observer who has drawn away for a better perspec-
tive, as though the fairies themselves are dancing.
While there is a great variety of sports and pastimes every
moment of the day at Palm Beach, one, also, can get away
into the quiet. There are scores of beautiful drives and
quiet waters and beach sports, and within three-quarters of
an hour's ride one may be in the primeval wilderness.
The vast Hotel Royal Poinciana is more than i,ooo feet
in length and affords sumptuous accommodations for more
than I,5oo persons. In season more than 7co waiters serve
the table. In its lengthy halls some of the most noted shops
of Fifth Avenue show elaborate styles for every occasion.
Lake Worth is crowded with beautiful yachts and house
boats, some of them veritable floating palaces. Speedy
motorboats, sailing yachts, and beautiful fishing launches
for venturing out into the Gulf Stream are found here.
Palm Beach, despite its multitude of other attractions, is a
noted fishing resort and experienced fishing guides are at
the call of the guests.
Outdoor life at Palm Beach is a constant source of health,
whether the day be spent on the links of the Palm Beach
Country Club or the Palm Beach Golf Club; in the
surf or Roman baths of the new Casino; on the spacious
verandas of the Royal Poinciana, or dancing and watching
the bathers at the Dance de la Mer; motoring on the mag-
nificent boulevard along the Atlantic Ocean, or on the wind-
ing drives through the jungle; upon the broad verandas of
the hotels or on the sandy beaches, or in all these spots at
different times of the day.
Directly across Lake Worth is West Palm Beach, a thriv-
ing city connected with Palm Beach by two bridges and a
In contrast to the life of ease and luxury lived at Palm
Beach, life in this city presents a bustling picture of activity
associated with other Florida cities, where development is
progressing at a rapid rate. The city is the county seat of
Palm Beach County and the market town of what promises
to be one of the most famous agricultural and sugar sections
of the country. The lands lying west of the city are fertile
and suitable for all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Eight
hundred thousand acres of upper Everglades land lying in
the western part of Palm Beach County is tributary to West
Palm Beach. None of this land has an elevation less than
seventeen feet and ioo,ooo acres are now ready for culti-
vation. With the completion of the West Palm Beach
Canal and the Connors' Highway, the products of this won-
derful land will be marketed in West Palm Beach. The Con-
nors' project is designed as a part of the cross-state highway
beginning at Fort Myers and ending at West Palm Beach.
Alfred H. Wagg, president of the Greater Palm Beach
Chamber of Commerce, recently acquainted me with the
facts about the Palm Beaches.
o the permanent population of the Palm Beaches
'thing less than 9,ooo; in 1923 it had grown to 16,-
ooo and to-day it is very conservatively estimated at a
little more than 30,000 with a daily increase that promises
to make next year's figures even more impressive. Build-
ing permits for 1924 aggregated $8,851,360 and showed a
1oo per cent increase over 1923, while permits for the first
seven months of 1925 total $10,321,136, and in this con-
nection it must be remembered that the structures erected
under these permits average in cost approximately 50 per
cent more than the face of the permit.
Postoffice receipts showed an increase in 1924 of 331/3
per cent over the previous year-and July, 1925, showed
a 98 per cent increase over July, 1924, while bank deposits
of $11,o1I,689 in 1923 have grown to more than $30,-
Actual valuation of property is hard to arrive 't but the
assessed valuation for 1924 showed a total of $42,705,266,
and for 1925 more than $75,000,000 for the Palm Beaches.
With dredges at work carrying out a harbor-deepening
project to make the Palm Beaches a port of call of ocean
steamers in the trans-Atlantic and North American coast-
wise services; with a newly opened cross-state railroad just
becoming popularized and with numerous similar trans-
portation improvements the Palm Beaches are being made
even more easily accessible both for winter visitors and for
the handling of the products of its rich back country which
pass through this natural distributing point, the future of
the Palm Beaches is in reality as bright as the most en-
thusiastic might wish to paint it.
Key West, America's Gibraltar, the southernmost city in
the United States, and important army and navy base, has
a charm and atmosphere all its own. For it is located on
an island surrounded by semi-tropical depths and shoals
that reproduce every color in the rainbow and whose mar-
velous hues and shades rival those of the Grand Canyon of
Arizona. It is, perhaps, the quaintest city in the western
hemisphere, and were the visitor not connected by railroad
within 48 hours of New York or Chicago, he could well
imagine himself in some far-away and distant clime.
Not to have seen Key West is to have missed
picturesque center of marine life in the world.
Until completion of the oversea extension of th
East Coast Railway in March, 1912, Key West
reached only by steamer. But, to-day, trains
north after passing over the great viaducts an
some of which rise out of thirty feet of ocean,
the modern terminals of the Florida East Coast
where forty steamships, each four hundred feet in length,
could be berthed at one time.
A roadway is also being constructed from the mainland
to Key West by means of filling in the shallow spaces be-
tween the Keys, which extend out into the Gulf waters in a
chain of which Key West is the most important.
Coral rock from the bottom of the sea is being used as
the basis for the construction of the overseas Key West
highway. This giant causeway will join the mainland of
Florida not only with Key West, but with practically all
of the worth-while Florida keys.
Upon its completion it will join the Dixie Highway, and
the motorist will be able to drive to Key West.
the sea presents one of
the most costly
and extraordinary road building projects undertaken since
the motor car has become a vehicle of common use. To
gain a clear idea of the stupendous project now being com-
pleted, just consider the fact that the highway will extend
the Gulf of Mexico where the Gulf waters mingle
with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, for a distance of
over 125 miles.
Key West is noted for its cigar manufactories, its varied
commercial fishery aggregating more th
nually, and its sponge and turtle fisheries.
n S400,ooo an-
The city has 25
shaded, surfaced streets
automobile drives to various parts of the island.
the many van-
colored crotons ornament the residence section.
The climate of Key West is ideal.
There has never been
January 12th, 1886.
The highest recorded in
25 years was 93 degrees, occurring only twice, on August
IIth and September 2nd, 1902.
The average yearly normal
temperature is 76.9 degrees.
The magnificent harbor of Key West is capable of berth-
ing all the navies of the world.
It is 25 miles long.
a channel from IY2 to 2 miles wide and with not less than
32 feet of water and large areas over
40 feet deep, it is
practically the largest deep-water
This harbor is sheltered on the north by low keys and shoals
which form a complete protection of that side, whereas seven
miles south of this line of keys there is a parallel line of
reefs and shoals, some of which are scarcely awash at low
Here is located the famous Martello Towers, Civil War
built in 1862, when Key West was a federal strong-
as well as the seventh United States naval district
a, United States naval air station, a two-and-a-half
a dollar submarine base, and Key West barracks, and
Taylor, marine barracks, United States naval base
al, and coast guard patrol base.
Nothing could be more quaint than the municipal wharves
where the fishing boats gather after venturing the colorful
seas thereabout. From Key West run the only ocean-going
freight car ferries in the world. They ply to Havana, go
miles distant. One of them will carry from 18 to 24 loaded
freight cars at a time. Over this ferry line comes heavily
loaded freight cars, bound from Cuba to the northern cities,
carrying tropical products.
The artistic soul at Key West will find that Mother Na-
ture is the greatest painter in the world. Strange and mar-
velously colored fish dart among the fantastic shelters of
the reefs. Beautiful sea birds are seen in great variety.
The island itself is surrounded by beaches whereon bathing
is indulged in every month in the year. Sea bathing here
is a delight. The broad bathing beaches are protected from
heavy seas by shoals and reefs.
Yachting, motorboating, motoring, tennis, and the various
functions connected with the army and
Key West an active social center, while th
with many tourists passing to and from
to see the once remote and always fasci
Many Americans are now settling in the
has the gay social life characteristic of
colonial centers. The fact that Key West
ing cities of export in the United States is
navy posts make
e city is also alive
Havana who stop
nating Key West.
lovely city which
Manila and other
is one of the lead-
resulting in many
permanent developments. There is a fine streetcar system
and plans are under way to create a modern Venice by the
reclamation of a square mile of shoals and tidewater land.
Deep-sea fishing in Key West waters is unrivaled any-
where in the world. It is not infrequent to see the fishing
launches come in with from ten tons of fish upward, for
States Government maintains at
laboratory for the collection and identification of marine
fauna and flora.
Many of the tropical aquariums of the
north obtain their supplies of rare and beautiful fish from
And now if we will speed in fancy to the west coast of
Florida we will come upon Tampa, which is growing steadily
and rapidly into one of the south's leading metropolises.
Though now enjoying a great wave of development,
Tampa is and has been for many years an important port
and manufacturing city.
It is difficult to gaze upon
unaware of the city's import
Tampa's skyline and remain
nce. There is a stable all-
year-round growth going on in Tampa. Its industries and
general business activities make the city an important busi-
Tampa is the world's greatest Havana cigar producing
cigars are made in
In 1924 Tampa cigar manufacturers paid the
United States Government more than
The present population of Tampa represents a ico per
cent increase over what it was about four years ago and the
city is gaining new population very rapidly.
More than $35,ooo,ooo per year is represented in Tampa's
Splendid graded schools and high schools offer ample edu-
national facilities for the city's
Tampa is a combination of busy metropolis and ideal win-
ter resort on
Florida's west coast,
business and investment opportunities are to be found in
abundant measure in the city.
Six miles across Tampa Bay is St. Petersburg, rightly
termed "The Sunshine City."
The Gandy Bridge, one of the outstanding engineering
feats of Florida and the longest concrete bridge in the world
has reduced the actual distance between St. Petersburg and
Tampa to nineteen miles and that part of the distance which
is not covered by the bridge is traversed by splendid boule-
Nature has made possible the remarkable growth of this
city as a recreational and health-giving center.
With an average mean temperature from November to
April of 66.3 degrees and with dry, sunshiny winter days,
St. Petersburg offers an ideal climate for healthful relax-
The city is located on the southernmost point of Pinellos
Peninsula, 270 miles south from Jacksonville. This penin-
sula, a fringe-like projection, thrusts its thirty-odd miles of
length into the balmy waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Thirty-two miles east of Tampa lies Lakeland, a city of
more than 2o,ooo year-round inhabitants and center of citrus
production in Florida.
Lakeland is situated in Polk County, which is among the
richest counties in America, the per capital wealth of the
county being exceedingly high. The city is situated on a
hill, a very unusual condition in Florida, its elevation be-
ing 227 feet.
The surrounding country is such as to attract both tourist
and farmer. For the former there are the two big i8-hole
golf courses and the 15 lakes all within the city limits
which are responsible for the community's name. For the
latter there is the record of agricultural achievement in the
past and the prospect in the future that whatever happens
to Florida's present extraordinary real estate development,
the farming industry will undoubtedly continue to advance.
Lakeland is in the center of the Florida truck farming
district, but the rich surrounding soil is suited not only to
this variety of agriculture, but to horticulture as well. It
[ 62 ]
is claimed that from Polk County's acres some 45 per cent
of the world's ph
The census of
70,000 acres of
osphate output is mined.
worth Sio,coo,ooo; 9,000 acres of grain, 500 acres of de-
ciduous trees, 470 acres of sugar cane, 3
ber and about 1oo,ooo acres in grazing.
Poultry and live-
stock raising are also important industries.
' The city is no less proud of its school system
its physical and financial well-being.
children are enrolled in the public
schools already built are being supplemented by two new
grammar schools and in addition Lakeland is the home of
Southern College. In Polk County there are 93 schools and
an enrollment, white and negro, of about 15,000 pupils.
Beyond peradventure, the chief thing which has placed
the name of Florida high in the halls of fame has been the
exceptionally fine citrus fruits which it sends forth to all
parts of the United States-even to California.
To a greater extent than may be commonly known the
for this distinctive
Away back in i
o the first settlers in this county started
the first groves in what is now Polk County: and some of
the original groves are still in good condition, though seventy
years have since passed into
span of life for a citrus tree is not yet determined.
Even before the first railroad was built into the county,
which was in 1884, citrus fruit was produced in quantities
sufficient to justify hauling it fifty to seventy-five miles to
Tampa in wagons laboriously pulled across the sandy trails
From Tampa it was then shipped by boat.
With the coming of the first railroad in 1884 the industry
received a new impetus and from that time to the present
day has been always on the increase.
Thus we have learned briefly something about Florida's
important centers of population.
Of course there are other
communities to which a certain amount of importance must
be attached and which will surely enjoy a splendid growth
in the years to come.
these are the following cities
estimated population and gains in population are now accu-
rately known because of the state government's fifth state
1925, by Nathan Mayo, Commissioner of Agriculture, under
whose auspices the census was taken:
Population of Florida cities and towns of more than
inhabitants with a comparison of present figures and those
- .. .S SS
Avon Park-Highlands ...........
Coconut Grove-Dade ...........
Dade City-Pasco .....
Daytona Beach-Volusia ..
Delrav-Palm Beach .....
* S S S S S
East Ft. Myers-Lee
Fort Myers-Lee .......
Fort Pierce-St. Lucie ....
Green Cove Springs-Clay
Haines City-Polk ......
High Sprines-Alachua ..
Indian Beach-Sarasota .
S... ..... .. 395,450
.. ... ...... .. 13.701
Lake Wales-Polk ..
Lake Worth-Palm B
. . .. .
* .. ...* .*-*..
Murry Hill-Duval ..
New Smyrna-Volusia .........
Palm Beach-Palm Beach ......
Plant City-Hillsborough .....
Punta Gorda-Charlotte .....
River Junction-Gadsden .....
St. Andrews-Bay ...........
St. Augustine-St. Johns .....
St. Cloud-Osceola ...........
St. Petersburg-Pinellas ......
Silver Bluff-Dade ...........
South Jacksonville-Duval ...
Stuart-Palm Beach .......
Tarpon Springs-Pinellas ......
Vero-St. Lucie ..............
West Palm Beach-Palm Beach
Winter Garden-Orange ......
Winter Haven-Polk .......
Winter Park-Orange ........
.* .. 3
K... 1 6
*... 6 *
.* .. 1 *
Compiled with the above figures,
which come from the
office of C. J. King, editor of the Department of Immigra-
tion at Tallahassee, is the further information that the
state population figures for whites, negroes and Indians are
Total white population ..
Total negro population ..
Total Indian population
Total state population ..
e last fiv
Sthe total state population was 968,470. Thus
at Florida has gained 287,748 new residents in
'e years, which represents a gain of a fraction over
increases in the state's population have been even
oportionately than building increases, so that it
to expect the building program will continue, or
* augmented. Land values in several localities
increased to such a degree that many present
i no longer hold their properties without building
for rental return upon them.
bank clearings and deposits in importance in
the Florida situation are the building statistics.
Building statistics represent actual brick and mortar invest-
ments. The following figures show the high rate of build-
ing now in progress. A comparison is also made with the
same month in 1924:
... ... 653,700
. ... .. 1,720,970
. . .. 839,000
.... .. 5,803,989
I ........ 3,049,700
S.... .... 1,117,500
Palm Beach ....
West Palm Beach
Recent figures show such large increases in business ac-
tivity as to make past records of but minimum value in
predicting the future. Building permits, for example, of
17 leading Florida cities for the nine months ending with
August, of 1925, show a total of $118,182,538, as compared
with $30,827,865 for the same period in 1924. Existing
records prove that the 1924 figure is high in comparison
with the prevailing average
being issued five years ago.
E 68 ]
WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S SPORTS OPPORTUNITIES?
WE all know that "All work and no play makes Jack
a dull boy," so if you would come to Florida to
play, banish the thought that Jack will be dull, for you will
find here every opportunity and facility for play regardless
of what your favorite sport may be.
Mine is a love of all sports. I cannot own to a liking
for any particular one of the varied sports which one may
enjoy in Florida.
If, however, I were- pinned down to give my opinion of
what sport offers the greatest opportunities for pleasure
down in the land of smiling skies, I would say that deep-
sea fishing attracted me most.
The disciple of Izaak Walton will find tha
of the east coast of Florida comprise one of the
fishing regions in the world.
The entire coast line from Palm Beach to
truly a fisherman's paradise, for more than 6
food and game fish are found in this area.
Giant denizens of the sea can be captured
t the waters.
Key West is
oo species of
in the blue
waters of the Gulf Stream. In these waters is the home of
some of the gamiest fish known to mankind. Though I,ooo
miles wide in some parts, the Gulf Stream attains its nar-
rowest limits off the coast of southern Florida, where it is
only forty miles wide. It is here, also, that this warm
stream comes closer to land than it does elsewhere along
its serpentine course. Off Miami only five miles separate
it from the shore, while off Palm Beach it is but three miles
from the shore of this famed resort.
Being so close to shore, the hunting of game fish which
swarm through the G
only one of Florida's n
of the most interesting
waters, await the char
Stream waters has become not
exciting sports, but as well, one
zed by years of angling in these
ig of their swift, practical little
sailing vessels, and so handy are the fishing grounds that
often a half day suffices to fill the fish box and send the
happy fishermen home with their trophies.
I have seen many of these compact little vessels tie up
at the old Miami docks after a day on the fishing grounds,
and it has not been uncommon to see them loaded with
specimens of giant rays, ponderous sunfish, huge devilfish
and turtles. These are landed with the aid of a harpoon
and a stout line. This is no sport for those not willing
to "work" for their catch.
The rod-and-reel fisherman will delight in capturing
beautiful sailfish, tuna, dolphin, swordfish, the battering.
bonito and many others of this ilk who are in the class of
the hard-fighting fish.
Closer to shore, along the Florida reef, kingfish and
Spanish mackerel are to be found in profusion, and while
landing these does not present the same difficulty as the
Gulf Stream fish, their bringing to time will furnish plenty
Here, too, one may sight the "tiger of the sea," that
ferocious fish, the barracuda, lying in wait for trolled bait.
The ponderous Jew-fish, many of which weigh more than
500 pounds, are also caught in these waters.
Red snapper, one of the most palatable of Florida fishes,
is another specimen to be caught close to shore. But all
of these fish require heavy tackle to land.
If yours is a desire to use a lighter outfit, you may put
in to Hillsboro Inlet, Boco Raton, or other points about
thirty miles north of Miami, and land delicious channel
bass, bluefish, and even barracuda, which roam the shore
seeking their prey and are easy victims.
Fresh water fishing enthusiasts have a myriad of smaller
fishes awaiting their baited hooks.
bass, catfish, perch and bream. 1
Among these are black
rhese populate the lakes,
streams and canals that lie in all sections of Florida.
The Tamiami Trail canal is filled with bass, and I have
fishermen proclaim this region
sessing some of the best bass fishing in the world.
In Miami, the Anglers'
Club has a cozy little clubhouse.
I have had many a chat with George
who is president of the club.
told me that fishing is one of southern Florida's
sports and that each year
sees countless new devotees of
the sport coming to Florida.
Almost everyone I have talked to about Florida has been
certain to make inquiry about the alligators. The impres-
sion practically everyone1 has of these reptiles is that they
are a ferocious lot and will devour one on sight. On the
contrary, the only way to capture an alligator is to chase
him. Unless annoyed, they will pay no attention to peo-
only the older
and larger specimens
The Florida Keys lagoons and inlets are thickly popu-
lated with the reptiles, and they may be hunted either in
the night or day. It
is a fact that places where they are
unknown by day swarm with the small and medium sized
specimens by dark.
In November, 1925, I sailed up the St. Johns'River from
Sanford to Jacksonville and saw scores of them swimming
about in the water or dozing in the mud and shallow water
of sequestered nooks which abound all along the route.
Though they have been hunted for years for their skins,
there still are untold numbers of them ranging from nine
to twelve feet in length and hundreds of years old to be
found in Florida waters.
These are captured by use of a
be caught alive
by taking a firm grip of their closed jaws and holding them
so until they can be placed in a bag.
Capturing huge turtles furnishes a fair measure of sport
to many fishermen out in the waters of the Gulf Stream.
Harpoon throwers and deep-sea fishermen often sight im-
mense trunkback turtles. I have seen such a specimen
hanging on the exhibition stand along Miami's waterfront.
He was almost nine feet in length and width and weighed
close to half a ton.
When the warmth of spring days is felt along the coast
it is a common thing for 3oo-pound turtles to come ashore
to lay their eggs. This is done in the sand, and always by
the light of the moon. It is an easy matter to capture these
turtles. All that is necessary is to wait until she has fin-
ished laying her eggs. Then creep up upon her and turn
her on her back.
In Florida, they talk of fish in tons. So huge are many
of the specimens that often tons at a time are brought
ashore from specially chartered fishing vessels which en-
gage only in fishing for sport. Imagine, then, what a para-
dise these Florida waters must be for the commercial
Tarpon fishing is a sport royal. The waters on the
west coast ar
the water wha
as difficult to
against the pr
bayous and th
sota is the fis
the Gulf is so
varieties of fis
e popular for this sport. These fish ar
t the lion is to the jungle, and they are
bag. To land one means to engage
and ever the skill of the fisherman is p
owess of a mighty fish.
fishermen are found in profusion in
e passes in and on the Gulf of Mexico. .
herman's headquarters o0
easily accessible from this
long been famed for its
;hes known, from Florida
dred or about one-fifth of the entire
north of Panama," according to a
Launches and pilots for deep-sea fishing
1 the west coast, as
fishes. "The total
,are about six hun-
fauna of America,
g trips are available
at all the principal resorts. There are numerous fishing
boats affording fishing excursions at popular prices.
While each locality has its champions, Fishermen's Para-
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
dise, in reality, extends from St. Augustine to Key West,
and in all this vast expanse the varieties of fish range from
the humble pan or bottom fish to the leaping, fighting
monsters of the deep, with almost every conceivable varia-
tion in between.
To give visitors to Florida an opportunity to enjoy the
famous fishing of the Florida Keys amid unconventional
surroundings the Florida East Coast Railway Company
maintains a large fishing camp on Long Key, about sixty
miles north of Key West, on the line of Oversea Extension.
Here fishermen and their families are cordially welcomed.
Accommodations are provided by many comfortable bunga-
lows and a fine main eating hall, as well as a large fleet of
launches in charge of experienced pilots.
The fish listed for competitive prizes at Long Key Fishing
Club are tarpon, amberjack, king fish, barracuda, sail fish,
and bone fish. Buttons of three classes, gold, silver, and
bronze, are awarded for these fish at the following weights:
Buttons Bronze Silver Gold
Tarpon ...... 75 lbs. ioo lbs. 125 lbs.
Sail fish ..... 40 lbs. 55 lbs. 65 lbs.
King fish .... 25 lbs. 35 lbs. 40 lbs.
Barracuda ... 25 lbs. 35 lbs. 40 lbs.
Amberjack ... 30 lbs. 45 lbs. 65 lbs.
Bone fish .... 4 lbs. 6 lbs. 8 lbs.
Long Key, itself, is a long strip of white coral sands
shaded with green cocoanut palms, rising out of the bril-
liantly colored waters of the Florida reefs.
But perhaps I have said enough, or even too much, about
my favorite sport. Yours may be golf. If so, you may
be assured that Florida presents abundant opportunity for
you to indulge in this great sport. It would be folly for
me to attempt to say one word about the game's popularity.
But I cannot refrain from drawing attention to the fact
that practically every Chamber of Commerce booklet going
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
out of Florida contains advertisements about local golf
links. Every city and many towns have courses. Take
Palatka, for instance. Here is an inland city with a
population of a little over 7,000 people. This city possesses
a beautiful eighteen-hole public course, its surface blan-
keted with a beautiful green carpet.
The opening of the 1926 season will find fifty new
courses ready for winter visitors. Every Florida city knows
that it must have at least one good golf course, while cities
like Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and St. Petersburg have a
,dozen courses each, in and about the territory they cover.
Speed boat racing and yachting, canoeing and proa rac-
ing enthusiasts will find a greater water area in Florida
for their especial sport than can be found in any other
state in the Union. Regattas are held every winter in the
waters close to numerous Florida cities, and competition is
keen for the handsome prizes offered the winners of events.
Swimming records have been shattered time and again
in many splendid pools along the east and west coast.
Hard-surface beaches at Daytona and Ormond offer long
stretches for motor racing, while thousands of miles of
hard-surfaced highways make motoring actually a pleasure.
Devotees of the turf will find the Sport of Kings holding
sway in Miami on the beautiful course of the Miami Jockey
Club, where sixty days each winter are devoted to horse
racing and where some of the finest horses in training com-
pete for rich stakes.
The state is rich in recreational opportunities, and since
sunshine holds sway practically all of the day, especially
in the winter season, each new dawn serves as an invitation
HAS FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES?
AFTER all is said and done, agriculture has ever been
the world's basic industry. Whenever catastrophes
have visited the earth those communities which met with
disaster have asked for clothing and shelter, but first of all
they asked for food!
The really vital question of civilization is, "What will
the soil produce?" And so far as that question is concerned
and its direct relation to the pages of this volume, the
question is, "What will Florida's soil produce?"
It is my purpose to go deeply into this subject, not only
because of its importance, but as well because thousands
of people all over the country are interested in it.
It is not so many years ago that the people of Florida
were actually fighting the soil, glad to wrest a meager living
from it. What prosperity there was amounted to so negli-
gible an item that, compared to the lack of it, all'trace
of it was lost sight of.
Then the Federal Government stepped in and began the
work which has gradually brought about Florida's trans-
New uses for the land were discovered and farmers were
taught the value of their soil, actually so wonderfully pro-
ductive that it would be difficult to find its equal anywhere
in the world.
Then endeavor looking toward intensive cultivation of
their land brought Florida farmers a full measure of suc-
cess. Imagine then, if you can, the effect upon the farmer
when he suddenly realized his land was paying-that it
was actually yielding a profit which represented a greater
sum at the end of the year than the land he tilled was
The sudden turn of fortune caused him to spread the
state's fame. News travels faster and by more means of
communication to-day than history
it was not long ere Florida's store
to farmers throughout America, for a
that spreads so fast as the news of
Incredulous at first even when con
farmers whose curiosity had been
journeyed to Florida to see for the
to the temptation to try their own
When their efforts were rewarded
those of the native farmers, their vo
loudest praises of the state's agrict
A 1925 statement of the farm
has yet recorded. So
y began to be known
after all there is nothing
fronted with the facts,
aroused and who had
mselves finally yielded
as handsomely as were
ices were raised in the
census records 59,217
farms in the state, of which 47,205 are operated
farmers and 12,012 by negroes.
Forty-five thousand six hundred and eight fa:
operated by farmers who owned their premises, wl
had managers and I3,659 were tenant farmers.
Farm acreage in Florida in 1925 was 5.940,220,
only a trifle over one-third is in actual cultivation,
average acreage per farm is just over 1oo. Total
farms and buildings is estimated at $430,321,26
land values of $417,215,172 are recorded. The v
acre of the average farm was computed at $80.
horses and 43,007 mules were used in 1925, w
total number of cattle is 662,215, and swine 505,71
Florida's basic wealth must ultimately lie in
nomenal productivity of her soil. Now
United States can land be found that
abundantly three to five crops a year, nor i
can there yet be procured land that will y
annual value of $200 to $1,ooo per acre, th
for $50 an acre and up.
here else in the
will produce so
n any other state
field crops of net
iat can be bought
Soil surveys made by the Federal department of agri-
culture demonstrate that Florida has more than Ioo dif-
ferent kinds of soil. These soils are qualified to produce
any food crop, fruit or livestock feed which will grow in
any other tropical or semi-tropical country. The penin-
sular climate prohibits the successful cultivation of the
leading bread grains, but at present, more than eighty dif-
ferent commercial crops are raised in this state. There are
as many other crops that are raised to a limited extent.
Truck crops of two-score varieties are cultivated success-
fully. The Florida field crops include practically all the
agricultural staples of the southland-with the exceDtion
of wheat, rye, ba
aliens which hav
acclimated in th
nd the like-as well as many plant
imported from tropical climes and
Agriculture is the backbone
And because her agricultural
farming future of Florida is al
History records that Uncle S
oo for Florida. Last year
in our most southernly state
And at that, according to th
of the state and the nation.
resources are prodigal, the
most as well guaranteed as a
am paid Spain about S5,00ooo,-
the farming products raised
vere worth twenty times this
e last census, only
acres of land in Florida are intimately familiar with the
civilizing influences of plow and planter. Only approxi-
mately one-sixth of the total land area is in farms. Less
than four-tenths of this area has been improved. Briefly,
Florida has thus far been doing little more than scratching
the surface of the almost boundless agricultural mine with
which nature has endowed this vast territory.
ooo bales o
marketing commissioner reports
Florida producers raised 84,000
les, 15.ooo,ooo bushels of cereal
o tons of hay, II5,000 barrels of
of tobacco, 2,oco,ooo pounds ol
if cotton and $25,000,000 worth
that during a
cars of fruits
Is, beans and
f pecans, 12,-
dairy, poultry and apiary products. These foodstuffs for
man and beast are valued at about $go,ooo,ooo and indicate
farming land is harnessed for service, upward of the billion-
In a word, Florida farmed intensively and efficiently,
could produce enough food to feed one of every seven of
the inhabitants of the United States.
Soil, sunshine, seed and rainfall combine in Florida to
produce bumper yields.
The state leads the entire country
in winter-grown vegetables, grapefruit, winter tomatoes,
cocoanuts, watermelon seed, diversity of food products, va-
riety of crops and propitious growing days.
The average precipitation record ranges in the neighbor-
hood of 60 inches.
No other farming section can produce more crops in a
single season than Florida. Tv
rieties of crops, nuts, fruit and
Few know there are only 80 crops produced in
quantities and that 62 of these are produced annually in
Florida, and the fact should not be ignored, that these
products reach the markets when they are practically bare
of supplies from competing points, and so command the
Is it not reasonable,
to presume that,
astonishing records already created and with still more im-
pressive ones looming up in the immediate future because
of the progress
thousands of new farmers will be attracted to the state in
the near future?
Millions of acres of agricultural lands are still available
was the guest
C. J. King, Advertising Editor of the Florida Bureau of
said to me:
During one of our many chats, Mr. King
"There are more than ten million acres of productive
land in Florida that never has been touched agricul-
turally, and it has been demonstrated by those already
tilling the soils of this state that a farmer who is will-
ing to work, and to learn more about farming as he
goes along, can make money on from five acres up.
There are many recorded instances of unusual incomes
from less than five acres.
"Those farmers who already are cultivating Florida
lands tell us that what they are doing can be done by
others-and Federal census figures show that
cent of them are cultivating less than 50 acres, and 20
per cent are tilling less than
The vast acreage available for farming purposes is not
confined to any particular section of Florida, but may be
found from one end of the state to the other.
On much of
the ten million acres from two to four crops a year may
be grown, especially in the southern part of the state, and
equally as good land may be found in the northern tier of
Yet, although 80 crops are grdwn on a commercial scale
in Florida, the state is annual# importing many millions
of dollars' worth of foodstuffs.
Like all other states in the
Union, Florida is both an
exporter and an importer of the necessities of life. The
extent of the trade at the present' time may be judged from
the following figures.
There is consumed annually $2 ,427,650 worth of beef
and veal, of which only $6,623,54 worth is produced in
the state and $13,797,o06 worth i imported.
$25,579,400 worth of pork products are required to sup-
ply Florida's yearly demand of which only $6,176,179 worth
is raised in the state and $19,403,221 worth is imported.
Florida consumes each year $4,266,230 worth of lard, of
which $1,066,562 worth is produced within the state and
worth of lamb and mutton is used each year.
worth of this is produced in the state while $,,7oo,ooo worth
The people of
dairy products, of which only $7,089,819 is produced in
Florida, so $24,035,181 worth must be bought outside the
Florida consumes each year $11,250,000 worth of poul-
Only $3,750,000 worth of this is grown in
which compels dealers to send $7,500,000 out of the state
per annum for poultry.
$9,ooo,ooo worth of eggs are con-
sumed in the state each year, $4,5co,0oo worth of which are
produced in Florida, and $4,500,000 worth of which are
Florida is importing not less than
grain, hays, condensed feeds, flour, meal, canned goods and
fruits and vegetables not grown in the state.
The total value of the meats, lard, dairy, poultry, grain,
bread, feeds, canned goods, and fruits and vegetables con-
sumed in Florida and not grown in the state is approximately
This would cause quite a deficit in the state's finances
if nothing was shipped out in return, but Florida farms
and groves yield $85,ooo,coo, the output of her factories
and sawmills amount to from
fishermen swell her bank account
tourists will spend
to her annual
It is estimated
With a total income of from
ooo annually and with people outside the state spending
more than a million dollars a day for Florida property, with
an average of more than 260
carloads of fresh fruits and
vegetables going out of the state daily, Florida is gaining
It is known that millions of acres of highly productive
soil for farming purposes, and also other millions of acres
suited to livestock and dairying activities are waiting for
That fact, coupled with the above figures, which have
been secured from L. M. Rhodes, who is Florida's State
Marketing Commissioner, indicate clearly the splendid op-
portunity awaiting farmers, dairymen and cattlemen, who
need look no further than local markets for the consump-
tion of their products.
Cultivation of Florida's golden acres could supply many
of the foodstuffs now imported into the state as well as
permit of a tremendous exporting of her products.
Experts have figured that if all of Florida's fertile land
not needed for towns, cities, home sites, parks, playgrounds,
tourist camps, roads, railroads, churches, schools, timber
and hunting reservations and grazing lands were in truck
gardens, farms, orchards and groves, the state could feed
itself and export $500,000,000 worth of agricultural, horti-
cultural, livestock, dairy, poultry and apiary products each
year, and not exceed the present production per acre.
Amazing as these figures must sound they are neverthe-
less true, and prove rather conclusively why Florida's acres
should be brought under cultivation.
Too many people think of Florida as a tourist's mecca.
My recent inspection of the state has convinced me that
Florida is essentially an agricultural state.
It is not difficult to understand why the tourist trade
has probably developed above everything else. It is easier
for the railroads to run lines close to the coasts and drop
people off at convenient spots. Until now agriculture has
waited because the tourists were easier to handle.
But the double-tracking of Florida railroads and the lay-
ing of new lines which will open hitherto shut-in sections
of the state is going to do much towards enlarging Florida's
In an article in Suniland Magazine, Roger W. Babson,
internationally known statistician, wrote that one of the
prime reasons why Florida's future as an agricultural em-
pire was assured was because
combining the four fundame
Sunshine, phosphate, suffic
to markets will one day brinj
In reference to phosphate,
per cent of the world's supply
ie state led all others in
moisture and proximity
Florida a full measure of
of which Florida produces 85
. Mr. Babson has said:
"As the years go on all agriculture will be abso-
lutely dependent upon phosphate. The automobile has
practically made the horse extinct, and synthetic milk
may likewise make the cow extinct. Our grandchil-
dren will use reindeer meat instead of beef. Hence
not only will our ground become more and more in
need of fertilizer, but fertilizer will be limited to
phosphate and chemicals with which we combine it.
"Florida has not only the sunshine and the phosphate,
but it is nearer the great consuming centers of the
country. Central Florida is only 750 miles from the
center of population of the United States-thirty hours
by rail. It will soon be an overnight trip by airplane.
Moreover, the Seaboard Air Line and the Atlantic
Coast Line Railways realize this and will some day
greatly profit thereby.
"Perhaps the most valuable of all, Florida has an
abundance of rainfall and this rainfall comes at the
"Natural resources, however, of themselves are not
sufficient to make prosperity. The heart of Africa
possesses great natural resources; Mexico and Russia
are both rich in natural resources, but it is not enough
just to possess great resources-they must be used to
"These natural resources are being used in Florida
to a very large extent. Every year more and more
agricultural development is evidenced. The growth of
the citrus industry reads almost like a fairy tale, and
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
it has not yet begun to reach its peak. I believe in
the citrus industry, but Florida should not put all her
agricultural eggs in one basket. Truck farms, vine-
yards, banana and sugar plantations should be en-
couraged. The grape vineyards which are being planted
will not only add wealth to Florida, but serve also
as an insurance."
Florida ships one-tenth of the fresh fruits and vegetables
that are grown in the United States. During the twelve
months ending with October, 1925, Florida shipped a car-
load of vegetables or fruit across the state line every five
minutes. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Florida
farm property has increased in value 132 per cent in a
decade and also why less than 2 per cent of the state's
farm lands are mortgaged.
In southern Florida, crops grow and ripen every day in
the year. It is no wonder then that the state leads all
her sister states in growing winter vegetables.
Her grapefruit, celery, winter-grown tomatoes, cocoanuts,
and watermelon seed crops rank first in America, while
records show the state to be second in importance in the
production of oranges and watermelons, third in lettuce
and fourth in cabbage.
There are three counties in the state, Seminole, Marion
and Suwannee, producing more than $2,000,000 worth of
field and truck crops annually. Eleven counties produce
more than $i,ooo,ooo worth of such commodities.
St. Johns County produces over $i,ooo,ooo worth of po-
tatoes a year, while three other counties are producing more
than $200,000 worth.
Sugar-cane is grown in six counties in excess of $1oo,ooo
The fruit production of Polk County is more than 4,000,-
ooo boxes each season, while there are five counties, DeSoto,
Volusia, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Orange, that ship I,ooo,-
ooo boxes each.
The dairy products of Dade, Duval, Hillsborough and
Polk Counties are in excess of $500,00oo each, annually.
Eleven counties produce more than $Ioo,ooo worth of dairy
foods each year.
Yet despite this splendid showing, for it must not be
forgotten that this enormous amount of foodstuffs is har-
vested from a little less than two and a half million acres
of land, the real beginning in developing Florida's agri-
cultural possibilities has not been launched.
If the present cultivated farm acreage were doubled, the
added supply of foodstuffs would still be insufficient to
meet the demands of the state alone.
Consider then the further demand made by northern
markets and you who are interested in the development of
the soil will realize the possibilities of tilling Florida's
Nor will it be many years before these facts, having
become public property, will have attracted thousands of
new farmers to Florida.
Progress is being made towards that end. Each day
the Department of Agriculture at Tallahassee answers
scores of inquiring letters from farmers and others inter-
ested in farming.
These letters come from all sections of the country, and
the gist of many of them is that the stories the writers have
heard about the marvelous productivity of the soil are so
amazing that verification of their truth is desired from the
The per acre production records which Florida farmers
boast of and which the press every now and then announces
are true. I have seen in the Department of Agriculture
office at the state capitol hundreds of statements and much
other proof which make me certain of that fact.
But to the entire credit of the state officials, let me record
here, lest I forget to do so, the fact that in no instance
is the inquiring farmer or layman encouraged to hurry to
Florida by the agricultural department.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
First of all the department warns all farmers to pur-
chase no land sight unseen. A trip of investigation is sug-
gested, and the farmer is advised under no conditions to
sell his land in his native state until he has thoroughly
investigated the Florida situation and satisfied himself that
he can woo success there.
It is not sufficient that a farmer is willing to sell out
his holdings and come to Florida hopeful of finding a good
He should come first and look the ground over. Every
effort is being made, both by advertising and personal let-
ters, to impress this fact upon those who seek informa-
tion from the department.
While there is considerable activity in farm land sales
in Florida, nothing even slightly resembling the mad
scramble to buy home sites and business property exists-
but the situation as it now is will not continue indefinitely.
In the opinion of this writer, who has spent much time
actually on the ground, and who has been cordially wel-
comed by all government departments in Tallahassee, much
credit is due Nathan Mayo, the Commissioner of Agricul-
ture, and his able lieutenants, Messrs. C. J. King and T. J.
Brooks, for the splendid way in which their departments
These gentlemen are rendering the state and those de-
sirous of coming to it a great service, and in line with 'the
"safe and sane" policy I saw on all sides in Florida where
legitimate efforts are being exerted to attract new popula-
tion, they are proceeding cautiously and requesting those
they communicate with to do likewise.
The very fact that I have seen fit to give credit to a
branch of the state government for doing its duty-which
in any event it must and should do-must instantly prove
to the reader the unfavorable reaction this writer has had
to some of the methods used by scores of others who have
something for sale in Florida.
For after all, the Department of Agriculture has some-