Prof. Oliver M. Crosby
And His Danbury Colony

Less than three years ago O. M. Crosby landed in Florida and began to travel over and write up the State for the columns of The South, of which he soon became general manager of the Florida department. The business of this popular journal has amazingly increased as the various railroad and steamboat guide works land circulars, maps and engravings bearing trademark of “The South Publishing Company” witnesseth.  Meanwhile, Mr. Crosby’s energy has found scope in another way, his truthful and versatile descriptions for settlers are bearing it’s fruit and his mail from parties desiring to locate in Florida is great and increasing. While on a visit North to his home last fall, he found the interest regarding Florida so great among his former townsmen (readers of The South), he determined to locate a colony of Danbury (Conn.) people, and Danbury, Florida is the result. The first month after the land for this place was purchased, over seventy-five sales of lots were made, on an average of three per day, each purchaser also signing a bond to improve the same during the first year. Already many clearings are made and groves planted, mostly for non-residents. The restriction in not allowing any one purchaser more than ten acres of land, also wide streets, no liquor, etc., are as novel as desirable, and are sure to attract settlers of the right stamp, instead of speculators. With these restrictions, Mr. Crosby as general manager, sells these ten acre lots at very low rates, in this way, already filling nearly 10,000 acres. During the past month, moreover, this gentleman has sold an adjoin 1,100 acres to Hon. S. Plinsoll, M. P. of London, Eng., who has made him his general manager of a similar enterprise for English settlers, with even more philanthropic rules, while another large colony in Ohio, are negotiating with him for a desirable location. Mr. Crosby is also the business manager of the Danbury Fence Co., which established only a month, has the capacity of turning out a carload of 300 rods of their desirable fence per day. Also, he is a partner in what is destined to be the most complete nursery of fruit and ornamental trees in the State. Already ten barrels of orange seeds, 188 varieties of shrubs and plants, and many thousands of orange stock have been planted on the grounds at Danbury. But most of our citizens know Prof. Crosby in his public spirited efforts to establish a “Village Improvement Society” in Ocala, which, through no fault of his, is compelled to take a nap for the present, when renewed animation will ensue. We are glad to state that Ocala is the headquarters of all the above rapidly growing enterprises, whose advance we shall continue to note with pleasure. 

Source: Daily Item: 5-1885

Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers 

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