Submitted by Descendant: Jo Anne ARNETT
Frederick Valdemar P. Gram (2/15/1971 – 11/19/1936) whose grandfather was mayor of Gram, Denmark, and brother Victor became Denmark’s Minister of Defense, came to this country in 1891. He soon returned to Denmark to bring his sister with Kiersten Marie Bruun, his future wife. Settling in River Falls, Wisconsin, he began a construction company, worked as an architect/builder. After his brickyard was blown away by a tornado, the family moved to Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin where he built and lived in a large apartment building that housed a theater and skating rink.
When his financier died, he surveyed Florida, passed up the Miami (then mangrove swamp) area for the rich muck land of Lake Okeechobee, and moved to Moore Haven, Florida in 1917. He built the family home, a 10,000 square foot balloon structure in 1918 that housed a post office, ice cream parlor, and store downstairs. The family lived in half the upstairs while utilizing the rest as a boarding house. Town dances were held in the large central lobby.
Valdemar and his wife later ran the Hyde Park Hotel in Tampa, Florida, where he died peacefully during his afternoon nap. He was known to be jovial, endure trial with good humor, and enjoy excellent health until the moment of his passing in 1936.
Frederick Valdemar Gram was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2003