Frank and Stella Heiser House

Frank and Stella Heiser House (HM2D3M)

Location: Fellsmere, FL 32948 Indian River County
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Country: United States of America
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N 27° 47.788', W 80° 36.455'

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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 out of business and the plant closed.
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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.
HM NumberHM2D3M
Year Placed2018
Placed ByPatricia 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.)
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, December 28th, 2018 at 10:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 538655 N 3074718
Decimal Degrees27.79646667, -80.60758333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 27° 47.788', W 80° 36.455'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds27° 47' 47.28" N, 80° 36' 27.3" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)772
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 11055 Co Rd 507, Fellsmere FL 32948, US
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