Orange County, Florida

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Orange County FLGenWeb: Biographies: Joseph Fenner Ange

Source: "History of Florida: Past and Present, Historical and Biographical," Volume 2, Harry Gardner Cutler, Lewis publishing Company, 1923, Florida.

Joseph Fenner Ange

Almost any young man with educational advantages, influential friends and financial backing, may find the way to success and prominence, but his life story is in no way as interesting and instructive as that of the young man who acquires these desirable things largely through his own efforts. Joseph Fenner Ange. banker, builder and prominent business citizen of Orlando, Florida, began at the bottom of the ladder and through industry, determination and sterling traits of character, has honorably reached financial independence together with the respect and good will of his fellow citizens.

Mr. Ange was born on a farm in Martin County, North Carolina, May 3, 1872, a son of Joseph B. and Sarah (Hodges) Ange. He grew up on the farm and attended the country schools, but as farming did not appeal to him, early learned the carpenter trade, and followed the same until he was able to go into business for himself as a contracting builder. He is a man of thoroughgoing ways and studied every angle of his business, making a special study of architecture and civil engineering, and at one time, for a period of two years, was a member of an architectural and engineering firm at Kokomo, Indiana.

In 1913 Mr. Ange came to Orlando and embarked in business as a contracting builder, in which line he met with immediate success, an example of the numerous buildings he has erected here being found in the fine mercantile and office building of the Yowell-Drew Company. But Mr. Ange has not confined his activities at Orlando to this field alone. He was prominent in the organization of the Bank of Orange & Trust Company, of which he was the first vice president for the first six months after its organization, when he was chosen president and has continued in that relation ever since. Believing from the first in the promising future of Orlando, he has not hesitated to make large personal investments and on every side has the satisfaction of seeing a justification of his judgment.

Mr. Ange was the prime mover in the organization of the Orlando Mortgage Loan Company, dealing in real estate, insurance and loans, which has enjoyed a constantly increasing volume of business under the able direction of Mr. Ange, its president. He is president also of the Orange Hotel Company, which was organized in 1922, for the purpose of erecting in this city one of the finest and best equipped hotels in the State of Florida, a forward going enterprise that promises to be of great commercial importance to this city. The new hotel is an eleven-story steel structure, of handsome architectural design, centrally located and thoroughly outfitted, every modern comfort and convenience of hotel construction being installed, with many pleasant features that make it an ideal winter home for visitors and an unexcelled temporary one for tourists. It was erected at a cost of more than $1,000,000 and stands as a monument to the thrift, enterprise and civic pride of the men who made such a great undertaking possible, under the leadership of Mr. Ange, whom they honored by incorporating his name into that of the hotel, the Angebilt.

Mr. Ange was married in North Carolina, to Miss Anna L. Smith, and they have seven children. With his family he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Although nominally a democrat, he has never been active in the political field, big business problems having so absorbed him that, as a friendly contemporary expresses it, "he has been too busy for politics."