1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Florida
FLORIDA (see 10.540). The pop. of the state in 1920 was 968,470 as compared with 752,619 in 1910, a gain of 215,851 or 28.7% for the decade. There were 17 cities with a pop. of over 5,000; those exceeding 10,000 with their proportional gain for the decade were:—
Despite a comparatively rapid growth of its cities and towns the pop. of the state was still predominantly rural. The urban pop. (those living in cities and towns of over 2,500 inhabitants) numbered 355,825 in 1920, 36.7% of the whole, as contrasted with 219,080 or 29.1% in 1910. This gave Florida the largest proportion of urban population of any southern state. During the winter months the population was each year largely augmented by thousands of tourists and winter residents. The E.-coast and Gulf-coast resorts were the chief objectives, but many of the inland towns and cities were beginning to attract visitors. In 1916 the Baptists were numerically the strongest denomination, with a membership of 131,107; the Methodists second, with 114,821; followed by the Roman Catholics, 24,650; Episcopalians, 10,399; Presbyterians, 10,170; and Congregationalists, 2,878.
Industries and Commerce.—Florida's most extensive industry is agriculture. According to figures of the Florida Experiment Station there were approximately 6,000,000 ac. of land in farms in 1920, not including open or fenced range lands. Of this, 1,700,000 ac. were in crops and 200,000 ac. of crop lands were idle; 180,000 ac. were in fruit; 1,120,000 ac. were in pasture; and 2,800,000 ac. in woodland. On approximately one-third of the cultivated acreage crops were produced by intertillage (the growing of two or more crops on the same land at one time) and by succession planting (where two or more crops follow each other on the same land during the year). The number of farms in Florida in 1910 was 50,016; in 1920, according to preliminary figures of the U.S. census, 54,006. Fruit was the most important crop. By the practical eradication of citrus canker, and the control of the white fly, through the vigorous campaign that has been waged against these enemies of citrus growth under the direction of the State Plant Board, the citrus industry has been greatly benefited and has prospered despite the fact that some of the groves in the more northern parts of the state have suffered by several severe winters. In 1920 the production of oranges was 8,500,000 boxes valued at $18,700,000, and of grape fruit 5,000,000 boxes valued at $10,000,000. In the sub-tropical part of the state pineapples, lemons, guavas, and avocadoes were grown profitably on a commercial scale. Other fruits were peaches, pears, bananas, grapes, figs, and limes. Other crops produced in Florida, with their 1920 yields and values were:—
|Indian corn (bus.)||10,530,000||$10,530,000|
|Wild hay (tons)||20,000||500,000|
|Irish potatoes (bus.)||2,625,000||5,250,000|
|Sweet potatoes (bus.)||4,275,000||5,130,000|
|Sorghum syrup (gal.)||84,000||840,000|
|Sugar-cane syrup (gal.)||6,110,000||6,000,000|
|Velvet beans (bus.)||1,300,000||2,500,000|
The encroachments of the boll weevil and the scarcity of farm labour, together with the unsettled condition of the cotton market, caused a falling off in the production of cotton during the decade 1910-20, and in many sections where cotton used to be raised it is no longer planted. The tobacco-growing section of western Florida produces profitably a shaded leaf, grown from Cuban and Sumatran seed, which is in great demand in cigar manufacturing. The pecan industry is comparatively new, most of the commercial groves having been planted since 1905. It is believed that in the northern part of
the state, the pecan crop soon may compete closely with the citrus crop of the southern part of the state. The open winters and light soil of Florida make many of its counties well adapted to the production of early vegetables for the northern markets. The industry is developing rapidly and the Florida producer can put vegetables on the northern markets earlier than any of his competitors. The chief obstacle in the way of further development of this industry is costly rates and inadequate railway freight service. The latest available figures on truck production, for the season of 1917-8, the trucking season being the winter, spring and early summer months, are given by the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture as follows:—
In Florida much attention is paid to stock-raising. During the decade 1910-20 there has been a consistent grading up of both beef and dairy herds. Especially is this true of dairy herds, the average value of milch cows being more than five times as much in 1921 as in 1910. The live stock in Jan. 1920 was: horses, 60,000 valued at $8,400,000; mules, 40,000 valued at $7,840,000; milch cows, 156,000 valued at $11,232,000; cattle other than milch cows, 945,000 valued at $25,798,000; sheep 95,000 valued at $494,000; swine, 1,588,000 valued at $20,644,000; a total for all stock of 2,884,000 head with a total valuation of $74,408,000.
In 1916 the total value of minerals produced in the state was $5,859,821, the more important of which were phosphates, lime, limestone, brick, tile, and fuller's earth, of which latter Florida produced in that year more than three-fourths of the entire output of the United States. Phosphate production according to the last available figures in the Ninth Annual Report of the Florida Geological Survey was, in long tons:—
|For use in U.S||1,168,084||1,296,331|
|For use in U.S||12,896||19,042|
The total mineral production for 1919 was put by the State Geological Survey at a valuation of $10,603,620.
In 1916 the output of lumber was 1,425,000,000 ft., in 1918 950,000,000 ft. In 1918 Florida stood second in the production of cypress with a total of 85,376,000 ft., and sixth in production of yellow pine with a total of 765,912,000 ft. The high prices of lumber during most of the decade 1910-20 made this industry highly profitable. Naval stores are produced from the pine forests, where the sap of the trees is collected and distilled, yielding turpentine and rosin. In 1905 Florida's naval stores were valued at $9,901,905. In 1917 there was a production of 8,824,295 gal. of turpentine valued at $13,018,447, and of 414,226 bar. of rosin valued at $3,260,107, or a total valuation for naval stores of $16,278,554. The manufacture of cigars and, to a much smaller extent, cigarettes is carried on chiefly in Tampa and Key West. In 1905 the gross value of production was $16,764,276. In 1917 Florida produced 469,301,042 cigars valued at $30,127,941 and 7,800,000 cigarettes valued at $154,000. A rapidly growing Florida manufacture is the production of commercial fertilizers, large amounts of phosphate mined within the state being used for this purpose.
History.—The outbreak of the World War in 1914 interrupted two of Florida's more important exports to Europe, naval stores and phosphates, thus creating a temporary business depression. In the naval stores industry the recovery was comparatively rapid, owing to the high prices of and increased domestic demand for the products during the period of the war, with the exception of its early months. The phosphate industry was more seriously affected, as Germany had been a large purchaser of Florida phosphates. Many of the Florida phosphate mines closed down, to resume operation only after the signing of the Armistice.
The political history of the state during the decade 1910-20 was uneventful. The question of prohibition played a large part in state politics until the ratification of the Eighteenth (Prohibition) Amendment to the Federal Constitution by the Florida Legislature Dec. 14 1918. Since 1876 Florida has been uniformly democratic and, except in 1916, when a contested primary election in the democratic party resulted in the nomination of Sidney J. Catts as a prohibitionist and in his election as governor, all of the state's executives have been democrats. The governors after 1910 were: Albert W. Gilchrist, 1909-13; Park Trammell, 1913-7; Sidney J. Catts, 1917-21; and Gary A. Hardee from 1921.
A proposed constitutional amendment to effect reapportionment was passed by the Legislature in 1921, to become operative if voted on favourably in Nov. 1922. This measure would give more adequate representation to parts of Florida that have increased greatly in population. Several new counties have been created since 1910. From territory taken from De Soto co. the four new counties of Glades, Hardee, Highlands, and Charlotte have been formed; Lafayette co. has been divided, the southern part to be known as Dixie; Hillsborough's western part has become Pinellas co.; Flagler co. has been formed from the northern territory of Volusia and the southern part of St. John's; parts of Palm Beach and Dade have been joined to create Broward; the western part of Walton and eastern part of Santa Rosa have been combined under the name of Okaloosa; part of Bradford has been made into Union; part of Manatee into Sarasota; parts of Washington and Walton have become Bay; parts of Osceola, St. Lucie and Palm Beach are now known as Okeechobee; and from the northern part of Orange Seminole has been created.
Florida furnished 42,301 soldiers, sailors and marines for the World War and the casualties among them were 1,171, including 467 dead. The state's subscriptions to the Liberty and Victory loans were: First Liberty Loan, $5,271,000; Second $8,611,000; Third $18,053,900; Fourth $27,538,100; Victory Loan, $17,918,100—the total for the five being $77,392,100.
(J. M. L.)