History of Kissimmee
Osceola County, Florida

Transcribed by Lisa Slaski, member of the Genealogy Club of Osceola County

Circa 1930

Source: "Central Florida," Dept. of Agriculture, Tallahassee, FL, c1930

Osceola County, which was formed from parts of Orange and Brevard counties in 1887, is located in the south central section of the State, and it was named for the great Seminole chieftain, Osceola. It is favorably located from a climatic standpoint and the average annual rainfall is 51.48 inches. The elevation at Kissimmee is 71 feet above sea level.

The land is level in the greater part of the county and there are many beautiful lakes that add to the appearance of the landscape. A large area is prairie land on which there is good pasturage for the large herds of cattle which form one of the main sources of revenue for the county.

The lumber business is also an industry of major importance, and there are large stands of virgin timber, principally pine, but with some hardwood growing in hammocks. The naval stores business also yields large revenue, and there are several crate mills and other manufacturing plants handling products related to the lumber and naval stores industries. Two new crate mills were built in 1929, and they furnish crates to the Central Florida Poultry Association.

From an agricultural standpoint the county is not highly developed, but there has been a marked increase in interest in truck growing, fruit growing, dairying, poultry raising, hog raising and some general farming in very recent years. The leading truck crops grown include corn, field peas and potatoes. The acreage in cultivation has increased about 20 per cent since 1926, this increase being largely attributable to the growing of cucumbers, strawberries, peppers and other truck crops, also a few staple farm crops.

The total area of the county is 850,942 acres, and it has 11,687 acres in farms and 4,547 acres under actual cultivation.

Poultry raising has materially increased since the organization of the Central Florida Poultry Producers Association and the stabilization of the poultry market in this section. Conditions are favorable for the production of poultry here. The 1929 poultry production was about three times as large as that of previous years.

Pure bred hogs are being imported to some extent for breeding purposes, and about 1,500 head of hogs are inocculated each year. The general production of hogs is increasing both in quality and quantity.

Dairies using Jersey and Holstein herds produce milk for local consumption, and an ice cream factory in Kissimmee absorbs all that is not used for domestic purposes.

A stock yard was built at Kissimmee in 1929 and 6,000 head of beef cattle were shipped to western states in the first four months of its operation. Cattle raising for beef purposes is one of the most important industries of the county, and cattle are also shipped here from many points in central and south Florida. A number of cattle of the breed known as Brahma, or zebu, originally introduced to this country from India were brought into this section a number of years ago and cross-breeding them with the native cattle has produced a very satisfactory type of animal. One advantage these cattle have is their immunity to the cattle tick. Subsequent shipments of these cattle have increased their number, and five carloads of high grade Brahma bulls were brought into the county in 1929.

There is a farmers' cooperative association in St. Cloud which ships tomatoes, beans, peppers and all truck crops. The poultry association at Kissimmee handles poultry and eggs. Good local markets are also available for all farm produce.

The county is served by the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line railroads, with a total trackage of over 90 miles.

There are 131 miles of hard-surfaced highway and 150 miles of improved road which is not hard-surfaced. Good highways are available from this county to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the distances being respectively 56 and 100 miles from Kissimmee.

A county agent and a home demonstration agent, with headquarters at Kissimmee are maintained for full-time work among the farmers of the county and their families. They have done much constructive work in the rural sections, and have contributed toward the agricultural growth which is taking place.

Mineral resources of the county include sand and peat, and good water may be had at depths varying from 180 to 600 feet.

There are five nurseries in this county for the sale of plants, shrubs and citrus stock.

The school property of the county is valued at nearly $500,000, and there are 10 elementary schools and two high schools, six of which are housed in brick or stucco buildings of high type of construction.

The population of Osceola county is 10,755, and Kissimmee is the county seat.

There are two incorporated towns, both with electric service waterworks and sewerage. Golf, hunting, fishing, boating and bathing are popular sports and attract visitors.

The original site of the old Disston sugar mills is located in Osceola county.

Copyright 2006-2010  Lisa Slaski
Donated to the Genealogy Club of Osceola County for posting on their website