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Leroy "Roy" Bass
Son of Mann and Mary Yates Mizell

Leroy "Roy" Bass was born in 1897 at Wadley Station, Osceola County, Florida the son of Mann Bass and Mary N. Bass.  He passe  awy in1974 in the same county.  He married Mae  Louise Kinnaird and had one daughter, Floramaye Bass.  Mae passed away in 1973 also in Osceola County.

Cattle rancher and sod Farmer

Mae Bass
 1940 United States Federal Census

Name:    Mae Bass
Respondent:    Yes
Age:    35
Estimated birth year:    abt 1905
Gender:    Female
Race:    White
Birthplace:    Florida
Marital Status:    Married
Relation to Head of House:    Wife
Home in 1940:    Kissimmee, Osceola, Florida
Map of Home in 1940:    View Map
Street:    Main Street
House Number:    116
Inferred Residence in 1935:    Kissimmee, Osceola, Florida
Residence in 1935:    Same House
Resident on farm in 1935:    No
Sheet Number:    1A
Attended School or College:    No
Highest Grade Completed:    Elementary school, 8th grade
Weeks Worked in 1939:    0
Income:    0
Income Other Sources:    No
Neighbors:    View others on page
Household Members:    
Name    Age
Le Roy Bass    42
Mae Bass    35
Flora Maye Bass    16

Widower of Floramaye Rohde, he was preceded in death by one grandson, Justin Henry Rohde. He was a veteran of the United States Army Air Corps (WWII). He was a member of Saint Luke Episcopal Church in Saint Cloud, FL. He was a member of the Silver Spurs Club. He was a past president of the Osceola County Cattleman's Association. He was member of the Osceola County Farm Bureau. He was survived by his sons, Henry Rohde (Ina), Roy Rohde (Sally) and John Rohde (Meriene); daughter, Lisa Rohde; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and an extended family of relatives. His graveside funeral was held on February 27, 2012, with Deacon Sam Gilkey and Mr. Jim Bauknight officiating. 


Ranchers Diversify To Guard Incomes
March 5, 1989|By Lydia Villalva Lijo of The Sentinel Staff

KISSIMMEE — Fickle cattle prices, unpredictable weather and, most of all, a desire to preserve their lifestyles have forced Osceola County ranchers and farmers to broaden their agricultural operations.

One such rancher is LaVerne McDanel, who lives southeast of St. Cloud on Hickory Tree Road.

Until about five years ago, McDanel focused on raising breeding cows, feeder calves and poultry. He still maintains about 100 head of cattle, but he has converted the chicken houses into greenhouses where he grows ferns in hanging baskets. He also grows hay at his Rocking L Ranch and Nursery.


Although year-to-year changes in the weather might affect the success of the hay crop, McDanel said that and the ferns account for the bulk of his yearly income. Like other ranchers, farmers and business people who guard information about their McDanel was reluctant to discuss specific dollar amounts.

But he said the cattle, fern and hay operation is sensible financially.

''I try to keep three businesses going all the time. Usually, two of three will pay off. I try to spread the risk,'' McDanel said.

Another ranching family, the Rohdes in Yeehaw Junction, also sell sod and Bahia grass seeds.

And at the Deer Park Ranch owned by Reed and Billy Kempfer, nearly 26,000 acres are used to raise cattle, hunt, cultivate trees for use in a sawmill, raise sod, grow watermelon and mine sand and shale.

Larry Libby of the University of Florida said more and more agriculturalists - cattle ranchers especially - are diversifying their operations in an effort to insulate their incomes from unpredictable factors.

Libby is chairman of the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.


No figures were available on the economic effect such auxiliary operations have on the state or how many farmers and ranchers have diversified.


Fruit and berries boasted sales of $17 million and were the most lucrative crop in Osceola in 1982, the year for which the most current information is available, said Rod Clouser, extension economist for the food and resource economics department. Livestock sales totaled $14 million that year. The 1987 figures are due in spring.

The majority of farms in Osceola - 245 - are on 50 acres or less. There are 136 farms on 50 to 500 acres, and 83 farms on more than 500 acres, according to the food and resource economics department.

At the Leroy Bass Ranch in Yeehaw Junction, the Rohde family diversified its commercial cow and calf outfit to include harvesting sod and Argentine Bahia grass seeds, said Henry Rohde. The grass seeds are sold to different buyers, including subdivision developers who are building homes in Osceola, he said.

''We needed those different sources of income,'' Rohde said.

The operations are distinct but complement one another: Lifting sod renovates the soil and makes it an agreeable host to the grass seeds, Rohde said. Meanwhile, the cattle are shifted to different parts of the ranch to allow the sod and grass seeds to reach maturity.


Bill Bell, manager of the Deer Park Ranch, said the ranch employs a ''multiple-use program'' to make the best use of the land's ample resources.

Timber, pine cypress and hardwood grow, and cattle graze, on about 20,000 acres at Deer Park. Between 110 and 150 acres are used to raise watermelons, and about 6,000 acres are available for harvesting sod. The entire ranch also is leased for hunting, and a chunk is used for mining.

Bell said the reason for the diversity - not just at Deer Park but at other ranches in the county - is rooted in the low cattle prices of the past decade.


''Over the years, when the cattle prices were going down, you had to start diversifying the land'' to keep it profitable, he said. ''It became important for everyone to diversify. You hope that when something is down, something else is up.''

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