William G. Roe (1886-1953)
Gift Fruit Industry
Clearing House Association
William G. Roe was born in Earlton, New York in 1886. Moving first to Crescent City, Florida in 1913 and later to Winter Haven in 1914, Roe worked for several fruit firms, eventually becoming a foreman. Roe became directly involved with citrus when he purchased a citrus wholesale business and a gift fruit business in 1917. Roe prospered, and in 1952 he built his own packinghouse in Winter Haven. Roe’s success grew and he eventually expanded his business to Winter Garden and Tampa. Roe was also one of the first packers to ship more than one million bushels of citrus in a single season.
Roe was affiliated with the first Clearing House Association in 1928 which helped to set early industry standards. Roe saw the need for a grower’s organization that guaranteed citrus prices, a goal that was eventually realized in Florida Citrus Mutual. Throughout his career, Roe believed that every grower, shipper, and packer deserved a “fair deal.” Roe’s son, Willard Roe, also became active in the family citrus business.