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 Fred Farrel Florence

Fred Farrel Florence

Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 25 Dec 1960 (aged 69)
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Burial Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 20624 · View Source
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Texas Banker and Dallas Community Leader. Born in New York to Lithuanian immigrants Moses Fromowitz and his wife Celia Freedman, his family moved before the turn of the century to Rusk in Cherokee County, Texas where his father started a grocery store. He attended public schools through the tenth grade, sold newspapers to support his family, and along with his siblings, changed his surname to "Florence". With a "rags to riches" story, he rose from a fifteen-year-old janitor to President of an Alto, Texas State Bank. During World War I, he enlisted in the Signal Corps Aviation School of the United States Army with the rank of corporal in 1918 and was discharged later that year as a second lieutenant. Upon his return, the State Bank established a business relationship with Guaranty Bank of Dallas; that led to him being hired at that firm in the early 1920s. In 1922, Guaranty Bank received a national charter changing its name to Dallas Republic National Bank of Dallas by 1937. He became bank president in 1929 and continued until he was Chairman of the Executive Board in 1957. His bank was one of the first Texas banks to extend loans on oil reserves and natural-gas production. Under his directions, deposits at his bank increased from $1 million to almost $900 million. Florence donated the land for the Southwestern Medical Foundation in Dallas and the 100-acres campus of the Hockaday School for Girls north of city. He was mayor of Dallas, along with serving on the board of other businesses: Dallas Power and Light, Sanger Brothers, Neiman Marcus, the Austin Bridge Company, Lone Star Steel, Bond Stores, Wyatt Industries, the MKT Railroad Company, and the Hotel Baker. During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him to serve on various relief and recovery broads. He was a director of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas and vice president and president of the Jewish Federation for Social Service, chairman of the United Palestine Fund for Dallas and Texas (1924), and national chairman of the Combined Campaign for American Reform Judaism (1960–61). He received numerous awards: the Linz Award (1944) for civic contributions to Dallas, the Dallas Distinguished Salesman Award (1954), and the Kudos College award of the Dallas Advertising League (1955). He was named Headliner of the Year for 1956 by the Dallas Press Club and presented the Distinguished Civic Service Award in 1960 by the Greater Dallas Planning Council. He received honorary doctorates from Westminster College at Fulton, Missouri (1955), Oklahoma City University (1956), and Texas Technological College (1960), and, in 1959, was given the Catholic Benemerenti Medal for his work as general chairman of the building campaign for St. Paul Hospital, of which he was later board chairman and trustee. He was a thirty-second-degree Mason, a Shriner, and a Democrat. On February 21, 1928, he married Helen Lefkowitz; they adopted two children.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 2 Mar 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20624
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Fred Farrel Florence (5 Nov 1891–25 Dec 1960), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20624, citing Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .