500 AND COUNTING
All of the children and grandchildren of Edward and Elizabeth Guettler gathered around them on Delaware Avenue in the 1940s as the couple celebrated
their 50th wedding anniversary with their growing family. More than 500 Guettlers attended a 1993 reunion at St. Anastasia Church.
Prodigious Guettler clan flourishes
along Treasure Coast
BY PATTIE DURHAM
When Edward and Elizabeth Guettler and seven
of their children left Minnesota to join sons
George Frank and Leo in sunny Fort Pierce,
little did anyone in the city know how this one
family would grow and reach out to so many residents in so
If you have your air conditioning serviced, you might be
helped by a descendent of Edward and Elizabeth. Likewise,
if you need some land cleared, you might call a Guettler.
Many of the large buildings around town have been constructed
by Jacquin and Sons, also descendants of these two
Minnesotans. Buying citrus? You might meet a Guettler. If
James Taylor had been elected to the St. Lucie County Commission
in 2018, there would have been two descendants of
Edward and Elizabeth in the commission chambers as Commissioner
Fran Hutchinson is also a Guettler. And so it goes.
At a Guettler Family Reunion in 1993, more than 500 descendants
of Edward and Elizabeth gathered on the grounds
of St. Anastasia Church and school. Some attended from
Minnesota, some from Georgia and some from Chipley, Florida,
but most were living in St. Lucie County. That was more
than 25 years ago. There are many more than 500 Guettler
relatives living in St. Lucie County today.
The father, mother and seven children came to Fort Pierce
in the mid-1920s to join their sons who had preceded them.
Edward and sons, Frank and Vincent, joined George and
Leo in the ice cream business, Peerless Ice Cream, located on
Seventh Street, just north of Orange Avenue. Within a few
years, George left the business to concentrate on agriculture,
raising cows and chickens on a large tract of land west of
33rd Street, while brothers Leo and Frank opened lumber
mills in Fort Pierce and Indiantown, respectively.
Jeanie Guettler Lattner, who dedicated two years to
chronicling the families, says she and her siblings, the 13
children of Vincent and Lillian Guettler, loved it when
their father came home from Peerless. He would clean the
machines out each night and bring home the ice cream
he had scooped out of them before cleaning. Then after
a bowl of ice cream, the family would gather to say their
prayers together, ending the prayer session with a rushed >>