Hamilton Disston owned four million acres of land in Florida and attempted to drain the Everglades, which triggered Florida’s first land boom. The Disston Land Company was directly responsible for creating the towns of Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Gulfport, Tarpon Springs, and aided the rapid growth of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Hamilton Disston purchased four million acres of land in Florida, the most land purchased by a single person in world history
Fairfax, Viginia (PRWEB)March 14, 2016
Scripophily.com is offering a beautifully RARE bond certificate from the Disston Land Company issued in 1894. This historic document was printed by the W. F. Murray’s & Son Company of Philadelphia and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle in the center flanks by palm trees and a lake. This item has the signatures of the Company’s President, Hamilton Disston and is over 112 years old. 17 coupons attached on bottom.
Hamilton Disston (August 23, 1844 – April 30, 1896), was an industrialist and real-estate developer who purchased four million acres of Florida land in 1881, an area larger than the state of Connecticut, and reportedly the most land ever purchased by a single person in world history. Disston was the son of Pennsylvania-based industrialist Henry Disston who formed Disston & Sons Saw Works, which Hamilton later ran and which was one of the largest saw manufacturing companies in the world.
Hamilton Disston’s investment in the infrastructure of Florida spurred growth throughout the state. His related efforts to drain the Everglades triggered the state’s first land boom with numerous towns and cities established through the area. Disston’s land purchase and investments were directly responsible for creating or fostering the towns of Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Gulfport, Tarpon Springs, and indirectly aided the rapid growth of St. Petersburg, Florida. He furthermore oversaw the successful cultivation of rice and sugarcane near the Kissimmee area.
Although Disston’s engineered canals aided water transport and steamboat traffic in Florida, he was ultimately unsuccessful in draining the Kissimmee River floodplain or lowering the surface water around Lake Okeechobee and in the Everglades. He was forced to sell much of his investments at a fraction of their original costs. However, his land purchase primed Florida’s economy and allowed railroad magnates Henry Flagler and Henry Plant to build rail lines down the east coast of Florida, and another joining the west coast, which directly led to the domination of the tourist and citrus industries in Florida. Disston’s immediate impact was in the Philadelphia area, where he was active in Republican politics and a philanthropist, but his legacy is often associated with the draining and development of Florida.
Disston committed suicide on April 30, 1896, after a disastrous freeze led many families to relocate further south. Disston’s land company was forced to stop payment on all outstanding bonds.
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