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CARTER, Henry Bascom

Author: The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol. II p.275  1923

CARTER, HENRY BASCOM passed through the early stages of his business
career in Georgia. While there he acquired an extensive experience and an
increasing field of operations in timber lands, lumber manufacturing,
turpentine production and naval stores, and these interests eventually brought
him to Florida. For many years his headquarters have been in Polk County at
Lakeland, and he has also acquired orange groves and among other interests is
proprietor of the Thelma Hotel of Lakeland and director of the First National
Bank.
Mr. CARTER was born in Robeson County, North Carolina, November 7, 1871.
When he was only six months old he was left an orphan, and subsequently was
bound out and reared in the home of Doctor Edmons at Lumberton, North
Carolina, until he was about seventeen years old. He had to work as a means
of getting an education, and the unusual success he has achieved has been the
direct product of his energy, ambition and initiative, manifested even when a
boy.
On going to Georgia he found work around lumber and turpentine plants,
doing common labor, but using his keen mind and observation to get an intimate
knowledge of the practical details of the business. In time he was operating
a plant of his own, and developed an increasing business in turpentine
production at several points in Georgia. Gradually his operations extended
over that state and also Florida and Alabama. On coming to Polk County,
Florida, Mr. CARTER bought a tract of about 80,000 acres of land. At one
time he increased his holdings here to 120,000 acres in Polk County. A great
part of this area was timber land, and Mr. CARTER established mills and
factories for working up these raw resources. His business enterprise has
been one of the contributing factors to the industrial prosperity of the
county. Mr. CARTER in 1906 located his home at Lakeland, and has in many ways
been identified with the upbuilding of that city, erecting a residence of his
own and several other buildings. Some years ago he bought the Kipler Hotel,
and subsequently renamed it the Thelma Hotel in honor of his daughter. He
still owns and operates this high-class, fireproof hotel, with 120 rooms, one
of the best hotels in this section of the state. His ownership extends to
other real estate in Lakeland and to several valuable orange groves. He is
interested in property in Saint Petersburg, Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa, and
is president of the Carter-Richey Company, dry goods merchants at Tampa, and
owns an office building in Miami.
Pesented by Nancy Rayburn

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