Publisher’s Perspective: Historical Essay No. 71

Posted on 12 January 2012 by LeslieM

Since our family, the Eller family, has lived in Deerfield Beach since 1923, I’ve often been asked to put in writing some of the history of the area, either experienced personally or that I heard from my parents or grandparents. For some of you old timers who might be worried about certain old “scandals,” don’t worry. I won’t be writing about those (smile). To read previous historical essays, go to and click on “The History of Deerfield.”

David Eller, Publisher


Birth of a newspaper

Deerfield Beach got its first newspaper in 1930 called the Deerfield News.

The first issue was on July 4, 1930. My father, Marlin Eller, 14 years old at the time, was featured in the first issue on the front page with his picture and a caption for having built a large model military airplane.

There was also a lot of local news like “Mrs. Butler had guests from Texas, the Longs, visited her last Thursday.” The Deerfield News folded after a short time.

Deerfield’s current  newspaper, The Observer, was founded in 1962. In reviewing some of the early Observer 1963 issues, the big stories included the fact that Hillsboro Boulevard, which had been dead-ended, was being extended with a crossing over the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks going directly west, rather than having all the traffic winding around Dixie Highway to head west, as it had been before. Hans Pufahl, Deerfield’s mayor, dressed western style in a cowboy hat, is shown cutting the ribbon, along with State Senator A.J. Ryan and Broward County Commissioner Bill Stevens.

The event was further celebrated by declaring it the “Westward Ho Day” with participants, including  Mr. and Mrs. Charles Parton, who had recently founded the Deerfield Beach Country Club, shown (right) in front of the Deerfield Furniture Company Store. Their nephew, Bob Parton, is the current president of the club.

Learning about stockings in college

Meanwhile, this writer, a son of Deerfield, was still off in college in northern Florida, first at Stetson University and later the University of Florida, studying engineering, but also learning much about certain social graces.

My first date in college was arranged by my roommate, Bob Hutson, who had a date and wanted me to go with his dates’ roommate to a drive-in movie in DeLand, Florida. Bob was driving, so my date,  a girl from New York, was in the back seat with me.

We had hardly settled in to watch the movie when I felt her hand take my hand and put it on her knee. The skin on her knee felt funny, kind of like snake skin, so I pulled my hand away.

A little while later, she did it again, and I pulled my hand away again. This continued a few more times until she gave up and left me alone. I thought the evening would never end.

Finally, we took them back to their dormitory. As I’m walking her up to the door, I finally got the nerve to ask her, “What’s wrong with the skin on your leg?” She said “What do you mean?” I replied, “It feels very rough, like scales!” She started laughing at me and said, “I’m wearing stockings, you idiot!” I must have turned bright red in the face. After all, Florida-bred boys didn’t know anything about girls wearing stockings.

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