The people of Naples Past - Naples Virtual Museum

John Hachmeister (Uncle Jack)

John "Jack" — or affectionately, "Hack" — Hachmeister (1870-1940) was a memorable and remarkable early Naples resident who was tenacious at making his own mark in life. According to Earl Baum's book, "Early Naples and Collier County," "Hack" started working at age 14 in St. Louis, "… at the Horse Racing Fair, clerking in a shoe store, working days for a folding chair company, and at night, punching holes in leather washers for five cents a quart."

After some time, he was gainfully

employed as a secretary or general manager of six racetracks, including Churchill Downs. He had a masterful talent in designing racing grounds to make them more beautiful and functional. It was Mr. Hachmeister's contribution to Naples' streetscapes that resulted in two blocks of Broad Avenue having two lanes with greenery in the center. He lived in Naples from 1912 until his passing.

His obituary stated the following: John Hackmeister (they spelled it with a "K"), 70, lifelong member and former president of the Kentucky Jockey Club, died today at his winter estate here of a heart attack after a three month illness. A pioneer developer who started coming to Naples 30 years ago, he was one of the largest individual owners of beach property here. He also owned a large cattle ranch at Leota, Kansas.

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