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

Frank and Stella Heiser House

 
 
Frank and Stella Heiser House Marker Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, September 9, 2018
1. Frank and Stella Heiser House Marker Side 1
Inscription.   Frank William Heiser was born in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1892. He was orphaned at age 14 and later dropped out of school. In 1911, Heiser bought a 20-acre farm in Fellsmere and moved to the area in 1912. He married Fellsmere Sales Company secretary Stella Mounger in 1915. Local builders, Shupe and Shafer, constructed this single-story, 1,440 square foot, bungalow-style house that featured five rooms and five gables. In 1918, the Heisers had a daughter, Lois, their only child. Frank Heiser, a member of numerous Fellsmere business associations, saw opportunity in the nutrient-rich muck fields west of the town. In 1923, he organized the Standard Agricultural Chemical Company, later named the Ammoniated Products Company (APC) in 1924. To process the muck into fertilizer base, APC built the Broadmoor Muck Plant five miles west of town. In 1925, Heiser became General Manager of the Trans Florida Central Railroad and President of the Fellsmere Drainage District, a position he held until 1946. In 1926, Heiser became APC's General Manager and the company became the single largest landowner in Indian River County. High shipping costs forced the company
Frank and Stella Heiser House Marker Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, September 9, 2018
2. Frank and Stella Heiser House Marker Side 2
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out of business and the plant closed.
(Continued on other side)

Side 2
(Continued from other side)
In 1927, Heiser planted his first test crop of sugar cane in Fellsmere's muck land. After that crop's success, he plantd 100 acres in 1929. Heiser's next goal was to build a sugar mill. He traveled between Fellsmere and New York City by train during 1930 and 1931 to secure financing, raising $1 million. Heiser founded the Fellsmere Sugar Company in 1931. The mill was built west of Fellsmere in 1932 using materials from the muck plant and a Louisiana sugar mill. By 1933, the Fellsmere Sugar Mill produced 2 million pounds of raw sugar and employed 225 people. From 1935 to 1937, he converted the company into a cooperative, the Fellsmere Sugar Producer's Association, and added a sugar refinery. In 1936, the refinery, the first in Florida, could produce up to 150,000 pounds of refined sugar daily, labeled "Florida Crystals." Challenges plagued the cooperative, and in 1943, Heiser and the other members sold it to Puerto Rican sugar producers. The Heisers left Fellsmere and moved to Jacksonville, though Frank returned periodically. Frank died in Jacksonville in 1961, followed by Stella in 1976. An unsung hero of Fellsmere, Heiser and his company saved the town from total economic collapse during the Great Depression.
 
Erected

Frank and Stella Heiser House from the marker. image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, September 9, 2018
3. Frank and Stella Heiser House from the marker.
2018 by Patricia and Cornelius Du Plessis, Owners and Restorers of the Frank and Stella Heiser House, Fellsmere Historian Richard B. Votapka and wife Linda and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-997.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
 
Location. 27° 47.788′ N, 80° 36.455′ W. Marker is in Fellsmere, Florida, in Indian River County. Marker is on 138th Avenue just south of 111th Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11055 138th Avenue, Fellsmere FL 32948, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Fellsmere Railroad (approx. 1.6 miles away); Birthplace for Equal Suffrage for Women in Florida (approx. 1.7 miles away); Fellsmere Grade (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Marian Fell Library (approx. 1.8 miles away); Fellsmere Veterans Memorial (approx. 2 miles away); Fellsmere (approx. 2 miles away); Fellsmere Union Church (approx. 2 miles away); The Fellsmere Public School (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fellsmere.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 29, 2018. It was originally submitted on December 25, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 210 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 25, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 21, 2021