Lamarcus C. Edwards, Jr. (1906-1960)
Pasco Packing Association
Pasco Packing County
Lamarcus “Mark” C. Edwards, Jr., was a prominent member of the Pasco Packing Association, along with his father, Lamarcus C. Edwards, Sr. He was born in Dothan, Alabama, in 1904, but moved to Florida only two years later in 1906. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1924.
Along with his father, he planted thousands of acres of groves. The pair joined with three others in 1936 to form the Pasco Packing Company. This operation was centered around the creation of a packinghouse which opened its doors in 1937 and eventually became the largest packinghouse of its kind in the world. He served as executive vice president, while his father served as president. The father-son team oversaw the packinghouse as it became one of the premier centers of innovation in the citrus world. The facility shipped 250,000 boxes of fruit in its first year, used a milk bottling machine to can juice from fruit that was cosmetically unfit for packing but otherwise fit for consumption. A special facility was built to pack juice, and the facility went from shipping 60,000 cases in its first year to becoming the primary product of the packinghouse. In 1942, concentrate was derived from pasteurization, enabling the facility to ship more juice using less actual liquid. The packinghouse also found a way to make money off of its byproducts by selling it as cattle feed.
Lamarcus Jr., who had actually been running the company for some time, became president in 1945 when his father retired. He served in this position for the next fifteen years until his death in 1960. He was inducted into the Citrus Hall of Fame in 1963, three years after his death.