Wellington Short Story
In the beginning there was water. Lots and lots of water.
For the beginnings of what was to become Wellington started
in the Everglades swamp (look at a map, the Everglades is
Wellington's Southwestern boundary).
In 1951, Charles Oliver Wellington, a very successful accountant
in New York, made a decision to purchase some investment property
in South Florida. Following the recommendations of Arthur
William Glisson (known to all in Wellington as Bink Glisson),
several tracts of land were assembled and purchased by Mr.
Wellington. Shortly after the land purchases, the State of
Florida passed legislation creating the Acme Drainage District.
The initial purpose of the district, created in 1953, was
to provide for drainage and flood control on the assembled
acreage and make the property suitable for agriculture. This
was a huge undertaking as the total size of the tract was
over 16,000 acres.
Bink Glisson was hired by C.O. Wellington to oversee the
property that was soon to become known as the Flying Cow (Charles
Oliver Wellington) Ranch. Bink also served as the Acme Drainage
District's first employee and general manager. In many respect's
Bink was the first rock to anchor what was soon (44 years
later) to become the Village of Wellington. He served the
District in many capacities for 40 years, and retired in 1993
with a big sendoff attended by hundreds of his friends and
neighbors. Bink and his wife Joan are enjoying their retirement
year’s right here in Wellington.
Mr. Wellington was the first Chairman of the Acme Drainage
District and served until his death in 1959. Oddly enough
it was probably Mr. Wellington's death which led to the decision
to develop portions of the property to raise capital to pay
for estate taxes. Carrying on as the District Chairman until
he retired in 1984 was C.O. Wellington's son, Roger.
Major construction did not begin until the first large tract
of land, 7,400 acres was sold to the Investment Corporation
of Florida (ICOF) in 1971 for a cost of about $800 per acre.
In 1972, a joint venture between ICOF and Alcoa Aluminum was
formed to begin the construction of a new community. Construction
began in 1972 and hundreds of homes were sold during that
period. In 1976 Alcoa decided to sell their interest back
to ICOF. Two years later the remaining properties of ICOF
were sold to Gould Florida, a division of the large electronics
corporation Gould, Inc. William Yilvisaker, the Chairman of
Gould was an avid polo player. It was his contribution that
produced the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club.
In 1985 Gould decided to pull out and sold it's remaining
acreage to Corepoint, Inc. Corepoint was than succeeded by
Lennar Homes who purchased the assets of Corepoint from First
union Bank who held $35 million in defaulted loans. Since
that time Lennar has also purchased the remaining 500 lots
in Bink's Forest. In another distressed real estate sale,
Glenn Straub purchased the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club,
for $20 million from the Resolution Trust Company in 1993.
The next step in the evolution of Wellington was probably
it's most important for the future. After years of trying,
a determined group of Wellington residents succeeded in a
referendum vote taken in November 1995. The Village of Wellington
was officially born on December 31, 1995 (to qualify for certain
Florida State funds it was necessary that the Village be chartered
in 1995 or millions of dollars in state funds would have been
lost). Official operations commenced on March 28, 1996.
The first five elected officials took office on this date.
They are Kathy Foster, Carmine Priore, Paul Adams, Thomas
Wenham and Mike McDonough. Kathy Foster was elected the first
Mayor by her fellow Councilmen, and Carmine Priore was elected
Vice Mayor (the Mayor and Vice Mayor positions were voted
upon by the five Council members, not the electorate). In
April of 1998 Wellington held it's second election for Village
Council. Thomas Wenham was reelected, unopposed and Mike McDonough
was replaced by Al Paglia. At the end of April the Village
Council elected Carmine Priore as Mayor, and Paul Adams as
In 2002, the residents of the Village of Wellington voted
to elect the Mayor versus having the electorate method continue.
The Council now consists of Thomas Wenham, Mayor and Vice
Mayor Robert Margolis, and council members Lizbeth Benacquisto,
Carmine Priore and Laurie Cohen. Although the Mayor is now
elected by the residents, all five council members have the
same amount of authority.
In 1953, fewer than 100 individuals resided in the area.
Today, the Village is an affluent community with an estimated
population of nearly 47,000 people. The Village of Wellington
offers tremendous diversity: from apartments to estate homes
at the Polo Club; from town homes to the Aero Cub where the
residents have airplane hangars attached to their homes. The
Village of Wellington includes some of the world’s premier
equestrian facilities, horse farms, agriculture and nurseries.
The primary sources of employment within the Village are construction,
agriculture and retail sales. Approximately 95% of employed
Village residents are employed outside of Wellington. The
community is mainly composed of golfing and equestrian areas
with an upscale shopping mall and many small specialty boutiques
"Wellington is about Quality of Life.
Education, Recreation, Senior Services, Our Equestrian Community
and the Environment – All of these combined make Wellington
- Village Manager Charles Lynn
Courtesy of Village
of Wellington website