Albert Geer was born 25 December 1838 at Lyons, Wayne County, New York to Harvey Geer and Angeline Roys. He grew up in a large family and was trained as a banker. This did not seem to be the career that he had in mind. He liked farming so he decided to take his family to Texas. That idea was short-lived when he met a fellow at the rail station who owned property in Florida. The glowing description of this “paradise” changed his mind. He then convinced two other families to join him. So it was that the Geer and Dimick families traveled together to Florida in 1876 from Illinois.
These families were related by marriage. Albert married Marian Dimick and his two sisters married Marian’s two brothers. Ella Geer married Elisha Dimick and Anna Geer married Franklin Dimick.
They brought two carloads of potatoes which they sold at Savannah and broomstraw to make marketable items. They had expected to get to Jacksonville in 24 hours but due to trouble on the railroad tracks it took 78 hours. They located a house in Jacksonville, settled in, left the ladies while the men went south looking for a suitable place to build a home.
When they saw Palm Beach they knew this was to be their “garden of Eden” so they hastened back to Jacksonville to make ready for the trip back. They hired a schooner to carry all the goods they had brought with them from Illinos as well as building supplies they had purchased.
Albert bought 40 acres from the government for 850 per acre. With the acreage purchased by the Dimicks, the land consisted of what is now Sunrise Avenue to Seaview Avenue in Palm Beach.
The Geer house was built up and down, the boards being placed vertically with no studding, and it consisted of one and a half stories. By 1886 it was a beautiful homestead with many cultivated plants and trees.
At that time a Mr. McCormick (no relation to the Chicago publisher) visited the area from Denver and asked if the Geer place was for sale. Albert told him if he would give him $1,000 for every year he had worked the place, he could have it, and so it was sold for $10,000. Albert and his family returned to the north, settling in Michigan. McCormick later sold his land to Henry Flagler for the astounding sum of $75,000 and Flagler later build the Royal Poinciana Hotel on that spot.
Albert and Marian’s children were Everard Eugene born in 1870 at Hudson, New York, and Levi A. born at City Point, Florida after 1876. Levi married Genevera and they had no children. Everard married Neva Mabel Wood and they had one daughter, Mildred Parthenia and two sons, Marion Wood and Norman Eugene.
Of this group, Albert Geer’ s name is the only one on the plaque. He died 21 March 1926 at eighty-eight years of age.