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Fellsmere, Florida

Coordinates: 27°46′0″N 80°35′55″W / 27.76667°N 80.59861°W / 27.76667; -80.59861
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Fellsmere, Florida
City of Fellsmere
Location in Indian River County and the state of Florida
Location in Indian River County and the state of Florida
Fellsmere, Florida is located in the United States
Fellsmere, Florida
Fellsmere, Florida
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 27°46′0″N 80°35′55″W / 27.76667°N 80.59861°W / 27.76667; -80.59861
Country United States
State Florida
County Indian River
 • MayorJoel Tyson
 • Vice MayorFernando Herrera
 • Council MembersInocensia Hernandez,
Gerald Renick, and
Mayor Pro Tem
Jessica Salgado
 • City ManagerMark D. Mathes
 • City ClerkMaria Suarez-Sanchez
 • Total57.79 sq mi (149.67 km2)
 • Land57.58 sq mi (149.13 km2)
 • Water0.21 sq mi (0.54 km2)
23 ft (7 m)
 • Total4,834
 • Density83.95/sq mi (32.41/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code772
FIPS code12-22100[2]
GNIS feature ID0282414[3]

Fellsmere is a city in Indian River County, Florida, United States. It is part of the SebastianVero Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,834 at the 2020 census.

It is home of the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival and was home to the now closed National Elephant Center. Fellsmere is the first place in Florida where women were allowed to vote. In a municipal election on June 19, 1915, resident Zena M. Dreier became the first woman to legally cast a ballot in the American South, five years before the 19th Amendment established women's suffrage nationally.


Fellsmere Library

In 1915, Fellsmere became the first municipality in Florida[4] (or anywhere south of the Mason–Dixon line)[5] to grant women the right to vote. It also, at the same time, held the first election in which corporations could vote. Mrs. Zena M. Dreier was the first woman to cast a vote in the city, and E. Nelson Fell cast a vote on behalf of his company Fellsmere Farms. The city had unanimously adopted a charter in February 1915,[5] which granted these rights, and the city charter was ratified by the state legislature without any notice being paid to this provision. This, despite the fact that several statewide suffrage measures had failed in the legislature that year.[4] Women's suffrage was not granted nationally in the United States until five years later, in August 1920, with the passage of the 19th Amendment.


The exact coordinates for the City of Fellsmere is located in central Indian River county at 27°46′00″N 80°35′55″W / 27.766771°N 80.598642°W / 27.766771; -80.598642.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 57.7 square miles (149.4 km2), of which 57.5 square miles (148.9 km2) are land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2), or 0.45%, are water.[7]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

2010 and 2020 census[edit]

Fellsmere racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race Pop 2010[9] Pop 2020[10] % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 691 545 13.30% 11.27%
Black or African American (NH) 246 299 4.73% 6.19%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 15 3 0.29% 0.06%
Asian (NH) 5 3 0.10% 0.06%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian (NH) 1 4 0.02% 0.08%
Some other race (NH) 3 15 0.06% 0.31%
Two or more races/Multiracial (NH) 21 55 0.40% 1.14%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 4,215 3,910 81.10% 80.89%
Total 5,197 4,834 100.00% 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 4,834 people, 1,244 households, and 970 families residing in the city.[11]

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 5,197 people, 1,323 households, and 1,137 families residing in the city.[12]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 3,813 people, 865 households, and 718 families residing in the city. The population density was 277.8 people/km2 (719 people/sq mi). There were 918 housing units at an average density of 66.9 units/km2 (173 units/sq mi). The racial makeup of the city was 60.11% White, 6.69% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 30.68% from other races, and 1.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 70.0% of the population.

In 2000, there were 865 households, out of which 52.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.6% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.9% were non-families. 12.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.94 and the average family size was 4.18.

In 2000, in the city, the population was spread out, with 33.3% under the age of 18, 15.4% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 13.0% from 45 to 64, and 5.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females, there were 139.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 149.8 males.

In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $30,395, and the median income for a family was $31,318. Males had a median income of $19,195 versus $15,521 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,258. About 21.7% of families and 24.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over.

Local economy[edit]

The large Hispanic population of Fellsmere owes to the surrounding agriculture industry, namely citrus groves and other crop types. In the city, many locally owned niche businesses thrive, including restaurants, ethnic food, architectural salvage, gifts, guitar, and motorized vehicle repair establishments.

Public transportation[edit]

Fellsmere is served by the #10 bus route of GoBus Lines, providing service to the North County Transit Hub.[13]

The first railroad to reach Fellsmere was the narrow-gauge Sebastian-Cincinnatus Railroad, built by the sons of printing magnate Anthony Octavius Russell.[14] It was replaced by the standard-gauge Fellsmere Railroad in 1910. The line was later extended west to the now-gone town of Broadmoor before being bought by the Trans-Florida Central Railroad in 1924. The line was abandoned in 1952.[15]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Taylor, A. Elizabeth (July 1957). "The Woman Suffrage Movement in Florida". Florida Historical Quarterly. 36 (1): 56. JSTOR 30138972. Retrieved October 28, 2018 – via University of Central Florida.
  5. ^ a b Webb, Kristina (November 9, 2016). "This small Florida city let women vote 5 years before the 19th Amendment". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on October 29, 2018. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Fellsmere city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  10. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Fellsmere city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  11. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2020: Fellsmere city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  12. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2010: Fellsmere city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ http://www.golineirt.com/GoLineGuide.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  14. ^ Paige Van Antwerp. "Gambling man: How Fellsmere's future was tied to the world's largest playing card company". Treasure Coast. TCpalm.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  15. ^ "The Fellsmere Railroad". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved January 10, 2023.

External links[edit]