Settlement in the LaCrosse area started in 1830 with the arrival of John Cellon, a young French immigrant. Other early settlers were Thomas Green, Abraham Mott, Richard H. Parker and family, William Scott and Thomas Standley. The town was built on land granted to Parker by the U.S. government in 1856. Cotton was the area’s primary cash crop and local buyers, like John Eli Futch, capitalized on the growing industry. Futch built a warehouse to store harvests and a general store to serve growers. In 1878, Parker’s son, Henry Clay, opened his first business, which became the largest general store in the area. The post office opened in Futch’s store in 1881, and he served as postmaster. The town was incorporated in 1897 and was named by either Mrs. Futch or Henry Clay Parker. By the turn of the 20th century, LaCrosse had two cotton gins, grist mills, multiple stores, and a hotel. Boll weevils devastated the local cotton industry, and farmers turned to potatoes as a new cash crop. The town gained acclaim as the “Potato District” and became a major shipping point with a cooper building barrels to transport crops by rail. LaCrosse remains a vital farming area, for potatoes, corn, vegetables, tobacco, and livestock.
Alachua County Historical Commission in cooperation with Department of State