Mabel Simmons

Mabel M. Simmons, 1998 Inductee
Mabel M. Simmons, 1998 Inductee

Mabel M. Simmons was a leader in the Florida ornamental horticulture industry for nearly 50 years. Born in 1917 in Ohio, Mabel Claprood went to work for a wholesale florist in 1934, and by 1939, she was president of Roman J. Claprood Co., in Columbus, Ohio. She later served as president of company operations in Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, and Alabama. She married Elsworth G. Simmons and they raised their family in Ruskin, Fla. Simmons was the first woman to operate a gladiola farm in Florida, and was at one time, the largest flower producer in the state. She served as the first woman president of the Florida Flower Association and was on the board for 24 years. She served as chairman of the American Floral Endowment and was on its board of directors for 12 years and was also on the board of the Agribusiness Institute of Florida.

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The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame honors men and women who have made lasting contributions to agriculture in this state and to mentoring of our youth, who represent the future of agriculture in Florida.

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The video profiles of the inductees from 1980 through 2017 were produced by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. More information is available at:

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