Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
II, page 122, 1923.
BISBEE, FRANK DOAN. In the management of large and important property and business interests
in the City of Jacksonville Mr. BISBEE is well upholding the honors of the family name and
proving a worthy successor of his father, the late WILLIAM A. BISBEE, who was one of the most
liberal and progressive citizens of Jacksonville at the time of his death and to whom a
memorial tribute is in the preceding sketch.
FRANK D. BISBEE was born at Knoxville, Tennessee, November 13, 1891, and his early educational
advantages included those of St. Paul's School, at Concord, New Hampshire, and the University
of Pennsylvania. In 1911 he assumed a position in the Florida National Bank, at Jacksonville,
and in 1913 he became manager of the Bisbee Building, the Old Bisbee Building and the Clark
Building, three of the important business blocks of this city. Of the erection of the modern
Bisbee Building by his father mention is made in the memoir of the father. He has continued
in the management of these properties and is also a leading exponent of the real estate and
insurance business in the Florida metropolis.
In January, 1920, Mr. BISBEE took over the management and control of the Springfield Heights
Company, a Florida real estate corporation, which was in serious financial difficulties, the
stock of which was worth only 25 cents on a dollar. This company owned a run-down and undesirable
subdivision, covering an area of six city blocks extending north and south, and three blocks
east and west. The company could not dispose of its lots even after repeated sale attempts.
Upon taking charge, Mr. BISBEE planted out trees, laid many blocks of sidewalks, hard-surfaced
the main streets, extended the water, sewer and gas mains and then commenced the building of
six bungalows. Upon selling these even before completion, he commenced others and during his
two years of management he has been instrumental in the building of over thirty-five attractive
bungalows, scattered through his subdivision. This building program is still going on. At
this time, his persistent efforts succeeded in getting the city to place city electric lights
at each street intersection, and also to buy his water and sewer mains and pump house at a
handsome profit to the company. The company now owns a nursery in its subdivision that
furnishes shrubs and plants of nearly every variety to its home owners. It can be easily
claimed that Mr. BISBEE has made a beautiful little city out of his subdivision and that
section of Springfield stands forth as a reward to his untiring efforts; and in addition Mr.
BISBEE has now made the stock worth over $100 per share and the company affairs are now
in a prosperous and flourishing condition.
Special distinction attaches to the career of this representative young business man of
Jacksonville by reason of the loyal part he played in connection with the World war. Over
a year and a half before the entry of the United States into the war he sailed for France,
and having enlisted in the French Army was assigned to the Sixty-fifth Division of the French
Army as an ambulance driver, and with this division he was on the line of battle at the Marne
front, in the Verdun sector. He remained in France one year and after the declaration of
war by the United States he then returned to his native land and entered the training camp
at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Here, on the 27th of November, 1917, he received commission
as first lieutenant. As a member of the Fifth Division of the United States Army he returned
to France, and fought with that division in the Vognes sector until transferred as a staff
officer to the First American Army Headquarters. At army headquarters he served as liaison
officer and he was with his command on the firing line in the battle of St. Mihiel, besides
taking part in both of the great battles on the Argonne front. February 23, 1918, he was
advanced to the rank of captain. He was slightly wounded in 1916 at the battle of Verdun
while serving with the French army. He remained with his command in France until the armistice
brought the war to a close and after his return to the United States he received his honorable
discharge, at Fort Oglethorpe and was later commissioned a captain in the Officers' Reserve
Corps. Captain BISBEE is an active member of the American Legion and takes deep interest
in its affairs. In the Masonic fraternity his fundamental affiliation is with Temple Lodge
No. 23, F. and A.M., and he has received the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, in
Florida Sovereign Consistory, and is a member also of Morocco Temple of the Mystic Shrine,
in his home city.
Mr. BISBEE holds membership in the Jacksonville Automobile Club, the Seminole Club, the
Florida Yacht Club, the Florida County Club, and the Civitan Club. He is a member of the
Jacksonville Real Estate Board, is a democrat in political allegiance and he is a communicant
of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
On the 25th of October, 1921, was solemnized the marriage of Captain BISBEE to Miss ELLA
TAYLOR SLEMONS, who was born and reared in Orlando, Florida, as were also her parents, WILLIAM
M. and ELLA (TAYLOR) SLEMONS, she being the youngest in a family of seven children.