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Nease was born Allen Dowling, but was adopted when he was ten and kept his birth name as his middle name.
Nease graduated from North Carolina State University and went to work with the US Forest Service in the Apalachicola National Forest where he planted trees, supervised timber sales and fought “redneck poachers” . In 1940, he was hired by the Florida Division of Forestry as the first County Forester in the state, selling the need for forest and soil conservation all the way from Suwannee County, Florida to Washington County, Florida.
Nease planted over 55 million pine trees throughout Northern Florida, becoming known as “Johnny Pine nut”. In 1947, he managed 17,000 acres (69 km²) of overcut, overworked timberland in St. Johns County, Florida for Robinson Improvement Company where he established a reforestation program.
Career in education
In 1971, Nease was elected to the St. Johns County School Board, where he served as Chairman for 17 years and became the School Board’s driving force for 24 years. While on the School Board, Nease won the battle to build and develop what is now known as the First Coast Technical Institute. For these achievements, the high school, Allen D. Nease Senior High School, was named after him.
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