Spessard Lindsey Holland (1892-1971)
Florida State Senate
Florida Citrus Commission
Florida Cooperative Marketing Act
Mediterranean Fruit Fly
Spessard Lindsey Holland was born in Bartow, Florida, in 1892. He attended Emory University and then later earned a law degree from the University of Florida. At the outbreak of World War I, Holland became an aviator, earning him the Distinguished Service Cross and many other distinctions in that capacity in France. After the war he returned to Bartow where he practiced law, was county prosecutor, and was elected judge, not long after that time was elected to the Florida State Senate. As a member of the Senate, representing Polk County, he became an invaluable supporter of the Citrus Industry. He sponsored a bill that created the Florida Citrus Commission. He also introduced legislation relating to fertilizer, citrus maturity and color, frost and freeze forecast, and Citrus advertising. Holland was responsible for the passage of the Florida Cooperative Marketing Act, which proved helpful to the Citrus Industry. Spessard Holland did all of this before serving as Governor of Florida from 1941 to 1945.
As Florida governor, Holland was instrumental in having citrus products placed on the Federal list of essential foods for military and civilian use. Holland encouraged British purchasing to approve citrus as a source of Vitamin C for the wounded and promoted the use of citrus for school and other Federal programs. Also as Governor, Holland secured the funds for building experiment stations in Orlando and Winter Haven. He also obtained federal and state funding to fight Medfly infestations. Governor Holland went to great efforts to contact foreign officials encouraging increases in U.S. trade outlets, which helped Citrus tremendously. Spessard Holland’s tireless efforts in support of the Citrus Industry continued as a member of the U. S. Senate (1946-1971). Holland died peacefully in his Bartow home not long after retiring from the Senate in 1971.