- Volusia County
- Year Founded: 199
- Founded by: Samuel Frederick de Bary
The area in east central Florida known as DeBary was incorporated on December 31, 1993 as the City of DeBary, Florida and covers 25 square miles. With a population of 10,425 residents, the vote was 3 to 1 to incorporate. Located on the northern shore of the beautiful St. Johns River, it is the gateway to southwestern Volusia County. The City is bounded by the St. Johns River to the west, by Lake Monroe to the south, by the City of Deltona and Interstate 4 on the east, and by the City of Orange City on the north. DeBary City Hall is located at 16 Colomba Road, DeBary, Florida 32713.
In 1990, prior to Incorporation, the population of the area was 7,176, by 1998 it had increased to 12,231, by 2000, the population was 15,559 and is 2010 the population is 19,320.
In the year 2004, between August 1st and September 20th, 32 inches of rain fell on the City. Tanker trucks pumping water were running 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There were 35 significant flooded areas: roads and homes flooded, sinkholes opened up, and the lakes overflowed. A Master Storm Water Plan was devised and, as of Spring 2012, 15 miles of piping and 3 storm water pumping stations have been installed which should substantially reduce the level of flooding in the City.
Memorial Park is located at Dirksen Road and Buena Vista Street in DeBary. Open from sunrise to sunset, the 2.5-acre park includes pavilions and paths for strolling. The F-15 Eagle aircraft and the the nine-ton anchor from the aircraft carrier USS Langley are prominently displayed and, along with the hill garden, are brightly illuminated each night.
In Vietnam on March 6, 1968, Charles Richard Beall, 17th Cavalry, 173rd Airborne, BDE, USARV, age 20, was killed during a vicious battle when his platoon tried to rescue a convoy under attack on the road between Pleiku and Dak To in Kontum Province, South Vietnam. The enemy was entrenched in carefully concealed bunkers and kept the platoon under heavy fire. Richard Beall repeatedly attacked the bunkers, firing into them. Three were destroyed, but he was killed attacking the fourth. A Memorial honoring Charles Richard Beall “As exemplary of DeBary youth, patriotism and good citizenship” stands within a small grove of trees along U.S. Highway 17/92; the Highway has been given the honorary name of Charles Richard Beall Boulevard.
On Memorial Day 1999, the dedication of DeBary Memorial Park honoring Airman 1st Class Brian William McVeigh was held. Brian, a resident of DeBary, was killed on June 25, 1996 in the terrorist attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. The ceremony included flyovers from Eglin Air Force Base and the Confederate Air Force and Presentation of Colors by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8093. Plaques honoring Charles Richard Beall and Brian William McVeigh are located in the Memorial Park.On June 11, 2012, the City of DeBary held a Groundbreaking Ceremony for the DeBary SunRail Station. SunRail will be Central Florida’s first commuter rail lines connecting four counties and spanning 61.5 miles. The DeBary Station will be located on the west side of South US Highway 17/92. This Station is part of SunRail’s Phase 1 which consists of 12 stations. The rail line runs 31 miles from DeBary to Sand Lake Road in Orange County and will be in operation by 2014.
Story of City’s Founding
The City was named after an early settler in the area, Samuel Frederick de Bary (1815-1898). Frederick de Bary’s ancestors originated in what is now called the Kingdom of Belgium. Due to the 16th century religious and political wars, they immigrated along with several hundred thousand people to other countries. In 1576, Frederick de Bary’s ancestors immigrated to Cologne and then to Frankfort am-Main where they became merchants and bankers. In 1851, Frederick became employed by P. A. Mumm and G. H. Mumm and traveled to New York City where he was their sole agent in the United States and Canada for the sale of Mumm wines and champagne. His business was very successful and he became a wealthy man. In 1870, Frederick traveled to the east coast of Florida and purchased land upon which he built an 8,000 sq. ft. two-storey Italianate-styled southern plantation house. He purchased two steamboats and formed the DeBary Merchants’ Line; the steamboats carried crops and also tourists to Jacksonville and back. In 1883, de Bary partnered with Hanero Baya, the owner of the Baya Line, and formed the DeBary-Baya Merchants’ Line which became the most successful steamboat line on the St. Johns River. Frederick de Bary died of a stroke on Wednesday, December 28, 1898 at his home in Summit, New Jersey. In 1998, the Florida Department of State and the Florida League of Cities created a Great Floridian program. In 2000, Frederick de Bary was honored as a Great Floridian. The program recognizes and records the achievements of Floridians, living and deceased, who have made major contributions to the progress and welfare of the State of Florida.
Little Known Facts
- DeBary residents enjoy the lowest ad valorem tax rate (2.8707) in Volusia County. DeBary offers a diversity of lifestyles, which include upscale country clubs and championship golf courses, rural acreage with horses, and riverside homes. The City has ten parks which vary from neighborhood playgrounds to sports parks to a memorial park. River City Nature Park, which is a 108-acre park, opened for public access in 2006. The natural state of the land will be preserved forever while providing access to the beautiful environment of the St. Johns River.