Allen Altvater

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Life Accomplishments

Allen C. Altvater

Born on December 26, 1897
Died on December 16, 1994

Life History & Accomplishments:

Sold Baseball Extras while in ward school.  After baseball season had paper route for Indianapolis News

While in high school, worked for Soltaus’ Grocery  (1913).

Worked for Pennsylvania Railroad  (1913-1915).

Came to Florida and was a chauffeur for Billie Varn and his Model T Ford  (1915).

Worked as a “grease monkey” for Falgety’s garage (1915-1916).

Was a plumber’s helper for Paul Vinson. Worked on the Kenilworth Lodge  (1916).

Bought a one-ton truck from Ben Pollard and started in business selling ice  (1916-1917).

Returned to Indianapolis and worked for Marmon, Royal Serum Company and Pennsylvania Railroad  (1917-1920).

Returned to Florida and worked as a plumber’s helper for Paul Vinson  (1920).

Opened the Circle Theatre on July 5th, 1923. Sold during the Boom.

Member of Sebring City Council  (1924).

Worked as inspector for engineering company on the installation of water and sewer systems.

Chief of Sebring Fire Department (1925).  Was the first paid fire chief and organized the volunteer fire department.  Organized the city’s first Department of Public Works (except for police and utilities).

Was secretary of ACME Construction Company.  Built Central Fire Station, pumped in fills on roads and subdivisions  (1926).  Supervised relief works at Moore Haven hurricane disaster.

Charter Member Sebring Lodge of Elks, Secretary 1926-1931. Exalted Ruler 1932-1933.  Vice president Florida State Elks Association 1932-1933.  Member of State Executive Committee FSEA 1932-1941.  District Deputy GER 1941-1942.  Member of Crippled Children Committee 25 years.  Honorary Life Member Sebring Lodge.

Organized Florida State Fire College (1929).  Vice president Florida State Firemen’s Association 1933.  Honorary Life Member Florida State Firemen’s Association.

President Sebring Chamber of Commerce 1929-1930. (14 years on the Board)

City Manager - City of Sebring  (1933).

Worked for Alexander Blair  (1934).

Superintendent Civilian Conservation Corps - Department of Agriculture (USDA)  (1934).

Superintendent Civilian Conservation Corps - Department of the Interior (USDI)  (1935-1941).

President of Sebring Firemen, Inc.  (1936).

President Highlands County Fair  (1936).

Chairman of Sebring Chapter of the American Red Cross  (1941).

Superintendent of Highlands Hammock (State of Florida)  (1942).

Chairman Civil Defense Council (WW II), Highlands County

Military Service - Seabees CCM  (1942-1944).

Executive Secretary Sebring Chamber of Commerce  (1945).

Commander Sebring American Legion  (1946).

Airport Manager - Sebring Air Terminal  (1946-1959).

Chairman Sebring Race Committee  (1956).

Supervisor of Maintenance, Florida Department of Agriculture  (1959-1977).

Chairman (of first) City Library Board  (1964-1967).

“Allen Altvater Day” declared in the City of Sebring on June   , 1966.

Chairman Sebring City Planning Board  (1968).

“Allen Altvater Day” at Highlands Hammock State Park,  May 7, 1983.

Allen Altvater Trail dedicated at Highlands Hammock,  November 5, 1988.

Recognized as “Mr. Azalea” by Sebring Garden Club on __________.


Legends, Short Stories, and Biographies of Sebring History from Founding in 1911
  The Way It Was
  Twice Told Tales
  The First Twenty Five Years
  Sebring Folks
  Selected Excerpts

Heartland Heritage - Area history by other authors.

Highlands Hammock
- The history of the first Florida State Park.

Sebring Chamber of Commerce - The history of the Sebring Chamber of Commerce from its foundation in 1916 to 1962.

Sebring Firemen - The history of the Sebring Volunteer Fire Department from its foundation in 1929 to 1962.

The Newcomb-Baker Collection - Excerpts from John Newcomb’s diary of early Sebring, 1911 to 1916, and Milton Baker’s photographs of early Sebring and its people, 1911 to 1930.

Hall of Fame - A record of the City of Sebring elections and administrations, and biographies (and pictures) of elected and appointed officials from 1913 through 1987.

Exercise in Frustration - The story of a failed civic improvement campaign. Five years worth of correspondence involving City, County and State offices, as well as news media coverage.

DeVane’s Early Florida History (2 volumes) - A collection of items (articles, letters, maps, and pictures) by Park and Albert DeVane concerning history of the Heartland area (South Central Florida) and Florida state history.  Both volumes are in the Congressional Library.

Sebring Historical Society “Bulletins” - 1334 pages of local history, pictures, biographies and legends published in the quarterly publication between 1969 and 1986.

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