John H. Land
Land announcing his 2013 campaign for mayor
|Mayor of Apopka, Florida|
January 1, 1971 – April 22, 2014
|Preceded by||Leonard Hurst|
|Succeeded by||Joe Kilsheimer|
January 1, 1950 – January 1, 1968
|Preceded by||Dr. C. H. Damsel|
November 5, 1920|
Plant City, Florida, U.S.
|Died||November 22, 2014
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Betty Hall Land|
John Horting Land (November 5, 1920 – November 22, 2014) was Mayor of Apopka, Florida for a total of 61 years, from 1950 to 1968 and again from 1971 to 2014. He was the longest-serving mayor in the history of Florida and one of the longest-serving mayors in the United States. After having served continuously since 1971, Land was defeated in a bid for re-election by Joe Kilsheimer on April 8, 2014.
He was born in Plant City in 1920, and he moved to Apopka at a very young age.
He attended the University of Florida until enlisting to fight in World War II in April 1942. He served in the United States Army and was present at the liberation of Dachau concentration camp in Germany in 1945. After his unit was returned home at the end of the war, he remained in Europe to work the train transportation area during the Nuremberg Trials. He received an honorary BFA degree dated 1942 from the School of Forest Resources and Conservations in the college of Agriculture from University of Florida upon his return. After the war he had a career in crate manufacturing (or wire-bound box) and bulk oil plant.
Land was first elected as Mayor of Apopka, Florida in 1949 (inaugurated January 1, 1950) and served in this capacity until 1968. In 1970 he was once again elected as Mayor, serving until 2014. In January 2014 Land celebrated his 61st year as mayor. In addition, he also served on the Florida League of Cities Board of Directors. On March 8, 2011 Land was recognized by both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate as the longest serving mayor in Florida and the longest serving full-time mayor in the United States.
|J. D. Fudge||1882||3||John Jewell||1926||1930||5|
|J. J. Combs||1885||1||E. J. Ryan||1931||1934||3|
|Page McKinney||1886||2||Gillen McClure||1935||1937||3|
|Horatio Brewer||1888||5||Mark V. Ryan||1938||1940||3|
|R. C. Waters||1893||2||Leslie P. Waite||1941||1946||6|
|E. A. Jackson||1895||1||Dr. D. H. Damsel||1947||1949||3|
|A. J. Lovell||1896||9||*||John H. Land||1950||1967||18||*|
|Joseph D Mitchill||1905||7||*||Leonard Hurst||1968||1970||3|
|A. M. Starbird||1912||1||John H. Land||1971||2014 March||43.25||61.25|
|A. J. Lovell||1913||1||10||Joe Kilshiemer||2014 April|
|W. R. McLeod||1914||1|
|T. B. Tower||1918||1|
|W. P. Newell||1919||1||3|
|Joseph D Mitchill||1920||3||10|
|E. B. Morre||1923||3|
On April 8, 2014, Land lost his bid for re-election to Joe Kilsheimer.
On November 21, 2014, Land suffered a massive stroke and died in a hospital in Orlando, Florida on November 22, 2014, aged 94. He was visited by hundreds of citizens as he lie in state in City Hall and then taken by Loomis Funeral Homes to the Apopka Community Center for a formal funeral service. He was placed in a horse-drawn caisson and Emergency Services blasted three times as the horse briefly stopped in front of the building he first attended school in, then after it was remodeled into a city hall, and then ran all but five meetings of 61 years as mayor. The caisson arrived at Edgewood-Greenwood Cemetery where the Police and Emergency Services, and a United States Army honor guard were at attention.
- Personal interviews and http://www.loomisfuneralhomes.com/obituaries/John-Land-2/#!/Obituary
- University of Florida Alumni Directory 1994, Harris Pub., p. 630.
- Hudak, Stepehn (9 April 2014). "Land out, Kilsheimer elected mayor of Apopka in historic election". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Rotary District 6980 records
- "Longtime Apopka mayor John Land, 94, dies". WFTV.com. Retrieved November 23, 2014.