“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
DeLand in Volusia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Landis-Fish Building


Landis-Fish Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 1, 2011
1. Landis-Fish Building Marker
Inscription. In 1905 the Landis & Fish Law Firm erected a brick one-story Romanesque-style building on this site. As the firm grew, it was enlarged in 1925 to the two-story Federal structure you see today. Begun by Cary D. Landis and Bert Fish, the firm was noted for its distinguished clients and as a center of political influence. Landis became Attorney General of Florida, 1930-38. Fish was appointed Minister to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and then Portugal, 1933-1943. Both died in office. A later partner, Francis P. Whitehair, became Undersecretary of the Navy 1951-1953. The law firm relocated in 1985 and continues to practice as Landis Graham French. It is now among the oldest continuous law firms in the state of Florida.
Erected by the West Volusia Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Florida, West Volusia Historical Society marker series.
Location. 29° 1.735′ N, 81° 18.234′ W. Marker is in DeLand, Florida, in Volusia County. Marker is on West Indiana Avenue west of North Woodland Boulevard (U.S. 17/92), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. The marker is mounted on the building's front, to the left of the front doors when facing the building. Marker is at or near
Landis-Fish Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 1, 2011
2. Landis-Fish Building Marker
The historical marker is mounted to the left of the double-doors, opposite the "First Commercial Store" historical marker on the right.
this postal address: 110 West Indiana Avenue, Deland FL 32720, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Commercial Store (here, next to this marker); The First Post Office (a few steps from this marker); First Movie House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Haven Block (within shouting distance of this marker); First Public Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Volusia County Historic Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Wilcox Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Grocery Stores (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in DeLand.
More about this marker. The Landis-Fish Building is located within the Downtown DeLand Historic District (a National Historic District).
Regarding Landis-Fish Building. At the time of this page's submission to the database, the Landis-Fish Building remains in use as a multi-suite commercial office building.

Prior to the building's construction, this site had been home to an earlier wood-frame building. In 1877, that building opened as the first commercial goods store in the city. Entrepreneur George Dreka later bought the store
The Landis-Fish Building image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 1, 2011
3. The Landis-Fish Building
Rising in the background is the dome and clock atop the Old Volusia County Courthouse.
and chose in 1882 to vacate this site in favor of a new store space he built nearby. The wood building here was later completely destroyed in the fire of 1886. (See nearby marker: "First Commercial Store")

Bert Fish's name is associated with another nearby historic building, which he owned. The Miller-Fish Building, on the south end of this same city block, itself also has a historic marker. (See nearby marker: "Miller-Fish Building")

Before his legal career, Bert Fish served as Superintendent of Volusia County Schools. He obtained his law degree in DeLand, graduating from Stetson University, and for many years served as a county judge.

Fish's time as a county official came during a period when Volusia County was said to be the most corrupt place in the country next to Kirk County, Illinois. Bert Fish was seen by many as leader of a corrupt ring of local political officials. The alleged cronyism was so unpopular that in 1922, Ku Klux Klan members successfully ran against establishment officials in Daytona Beach, briefly winning control of the city government. Though blamed by some historians for the corruption problem, Fish was never formally charged with any improprieties.

In 1932, Fish served as the Florida Campaign Manager for Franklin D. Roosevelt, a position which
The Landis-Fish Building image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 1, 2011
4. The Landis-Fish Building
became a stepping-stone to his diplomatic career. During Roosevelt's presidency, Fish served as a United States Ambassador, first to Egypt, then later Portugal; and he held the distinction of being America's first ever Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is remembered for his role in establishing a positive relationship between the two countries and in opening the Middle Eastern oil markets to trade with the U.S.

Bert Fish is perhaps best remembered for his philanthropy, since after his death, his wealth and assets have been allocated to meet community needs, particularly in area of health care. His generosity provided for the construction of three hospitals in Volusia and Seminole Counties, including Bert Fish Medical Center, in New Smyrna Beach.
Also see . . .
1. Bert Fish bio page. at the Volusia County Heritage website (Submitted on August 12, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.) 

2. "The Unforgotten Man" blog. Honoring the career and works of the late Wm. James Carpenter, AIA, the architect who designed the 1925 renovation and addition to the Landis-Fish Building, blending its Romanesque origins with a stately, Federal-style facade. (Submitted on August 13, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.) 
Categories. Notable BuildingsPolitics
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 519 times since then and 81 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   4. submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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