In the early 1890s, Kansas Senator Ebenezer Porter, a lumberman, came to Florida and purchased more than 50,000 acres of pine land in and around the Holt area. He returned to Kansas and left his sons, Harold and Huston Porter, to oversee his interests. They formed The Porter Interests of Florida and attempted to draw farmers to “the last great west” and “land of opportunity” to grow satsumas and blueberries on the now-harvested pine lands. The cold winter weather eventually killed both crops making this venture a bust.
As an aside, the Porters sold 5,000 acres to Ringling & White Inc., for the Floridale planned farming community. Both Porter men were two of seven directors of this failed project in the mid 1920s.