Fred Farrel Florence
Fred F. Florence was an influential Dallas banker and civic leader. At age 2, his family moved to texas. He attended public school through the 10th grade, worked in the family store, and sold newspapers in Rusk, Texas.
At age 15, he began working at 1st National Bank in Rusk. He advanced to assistant cashier, bookkeeper, cashier, vice president, and finally, president of The Alto State Bank.
Florence enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1918. After being discharged, he returned to banking in Alto, Texas, where he also served as a town alderman and mayor. All before the age of 30!
In 1920, a bank recruited him to come to Dallas and be Vice President. Florence was President of the bank from 1929 until 1957. He helped his bank survive the Great Depression and assisted other regional banks during the banking crisis of 1935. Florence saw deposits at his bank increase from $1 million to almost $900 million. He also pioneered the hiring of personnel of Mexican descent.
The Texas Centennial Exposition World's Fair came to Dallas with the help of Florence.
Other positions he held were being director for the Boy Scouts of America and a board member of the State Fair of Texas. Florence became chairman of the People-to-People Program in
1956, which promoted international understanding and friendship.
That year, he also established the Florence Foundation to support charitable, religious, educational, scientific, and recreational projects for the benefit of humanity.
Florence passed away in 1960, survived by his wife, Helen, and two children: Cecile and David.