Judge Allen Edgar Heyser
Courtesy Historical Society of
Palm Beach County
Judge Allen Edgar Heyser (1857-1924), first state circuit judge for Dade County in 1886, came from Pennsylvania through Georgia, where he studied law, in 1880. Governor Bloxham appointed him the first Dade County judge. He was then the only attorney and judge in Dade County. In 1885 he married Mattie Spencer and built the third hotel on Lake Worth, the 21-room Oak Lawn House. In 1893 he renamed it Riviera Inn, also changing the name of the post office, established in 1881. Mattie, who had helped her father, Valorus O. Spencer, petition for the first post office on Lake Worth in 1880, became Riviera Beach’s first postmaster. From 1889-1899, the Heyser held court in Juno, the Dade County seat. But in 1899, when the county seat was transferred back to Miami, the Heysers followed.
It was reported that Allen Heyser came up with the name for the Tropical Sun newspaper, which Guy Metcalf had operated as the Indian River News from 1887 to 1891 in Melbourne. Metcalf moved the paper from Melbourne to Juno and then to West Palm Beach.