Davenporters of Note: Herman J. Zeuch and the Indian River Farms Company


We made it through February 2019! Does the current weather have you dreaming of warmer climes?  Perhaps Davenport businessman Herman J. Zeuch felt the same in 1912 when he purchased 55,000 acres of land on the east coast of Florida. He and his partners in the Indian River Farms Company hoped “Tri-Cities” and other folks wanted to escape harsh winters–as well as make money as citrus-growers–a in a new agricultural community.  Advertisements in the Davenport newspapers invited prospective tract buyers on “Sunshine and Opportunity” excursions “….to spend a little time among the orange blossoms.” [2]

Ralph W. Cram visited the Indian River Farms settlement that by 1916 had developed into the town of Vero, Florida.  He reported on the drainage project that transformed “…section after section of marsh and saw grass land into the truck farms and citrus groves that were in Zeuch’s vision as he shooed away the ‘gators and tramped and waded the tract…” [3]

The promotional Indian River Farmermagazine, published at the company’s headquarters in the Putnam Building (W. 2nd Street, Davenport), was essential to the success of Zeuch’s efforts in Florida.

Masthead of the Indian River Farmer, Vol. 2, No. 5, April 1914

We have searched in vain for copies of this publication and other materials that might help us tell more of Herman J. Zeuch’s story. Please contact the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center if you have any further information!

(posted by Katie)


[1] A portfolio of cartoons as published by the Davenport Times 1912-13. Davenport, Iowa: Davenport Times, 1913.

[2] Davenport Daily Times, Dec. 21, 1912.

[3] Cram, Ralph W. “What Davenporters Are Doing in Florida.” Davenport Democrat and Leader, Feb. 27, 1916.

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1 Response to Davenporters of Note: Herman J. Zeuch and the Indian River Farms Company

  1. Carolyn J Feldkamp Woods says:

    Herman Zeuch was my mother’s great-grandfather (Joyce N Zeuch), making him my great, great grandfather. I delivered my eldest child in Indian River County in 1996, (Ondria Brooke). We moved to Georgia in 1998.
    Zeuch was one of the 6 founding fathers of Vero Beach, FL. His picture used to be in the fast food chain – McDonald’s on Hwy 60 just near I-95 (yeehaw Junction exit area); not sure if the picture still remains there today, (2023). Redish-Zeuch Insurance company is still up & running in Vero Beach, Florida, used to be Zeuch Family Real Estate & Insurance owned by Warren & Dorothy Zeuch I & Warren Zeuch, II. My mother’s father Theodore F Zeuch was the 3rd child to Warren Zeuch I and was a part of the community for many years as an officer for Indian River County, Vero & Sebastion, & also Broward County prior. I remember as a child & teen visiting my grandparents (Ted & Ruby Zeuch) & great grandparents (Warren & Dorothy Zeuch) in the spring & summer and enjoying the Spring Training for the Dodgers. I met Darryl Strawberry, Otis Nixon, & many others. I was just a little girl, when we would walk up to the Zeuch building 2156 Ponce de Leon Cir and get M &M’s from my Uncle & Great Grandfather Warren Zeuch, as well as cheddar cheese popcorn & a never ending supply of Indian River Oranges & grapefruit! One of my favorite memories!
    If I had the funds I would purchase back all the places of the past Zeuch residents & carry on the legacy they lived & left behind. Very salt of the earth people, always loving & giving to those in need through their business. May the Zeuch Family never be forgotten!

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