The First Time Estero Became a Village


Estero, Florida first became a village after a meeting of all area registered voters in September 1904, before the general election that year. The Koreshans even created a town seal: the sun rising over a waterscape with a swan floating on the water, at the top, a six-pointed star representing the Seal of Solomon.

The Koreshans incorporated one-hundred-ten square miles into the Village of Estero, making it the fifth-largest city in terms of the landmass in the United States. This did not go over well with the local population, who thought it would increase their taxes.

To add fuel to the fire, later that same year the Koreshan Unity voted, as a block, for Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican. Of course, this upset the political machinery of Fort Myers even more. Back in the early 20th century, most of the south and especially Florida was hardcore Democrat, and Roosevelt was a Republican. This did not set well with the Democratic politicians of Fort Myers.

Up until the 1904 election, the locals, for the most part, got along with the Koreshans just fine. The presidential election became a flashpoint, and the relationship began to degrade.

Then in 1906, there was a brawl in Fort Myers between the Koreshans and some Fort Myers citizens. During the fight, the town marshal severely injured Dr. Teed and inflicted severe head injuries, which many believe either contributed to or caused his death in 1908.

A few years after the 1904 elections, the state of Florida annulled the incorporation because of a technicality; the Koreshans had failed to file a plat map of the incorporated area with the state. It would be more than a hundred years before the community of Estero would again become a municipality. In 2014, it officially became the Village of Estero.

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