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The Alsobrook Arcade was built in late 1924 by Stephen M. Alsobrook, a wealthy real estate speculator from Dania. Surprisingly, the building still exists – it is part of the new dance studio on Krome Avenue just north of Losner Park.
The Brookers of Homestead
The three Brooker brothers, Henry, Edward and Thomas, were early homesteaders in the area west of Florida City. They soon sold their property and moved into Homestead. Henry, Jr., son of Henry, Sr., was the best known because he was a prominent businessman who owned Brooker Lumber and was very active in the founding of the Florida Pioneer Museum. His brothers are less known. In this article, I attempted to unearth more information about all three of the brothers.
The Cutler Extension
Flagler’s F.E.C. Railway reached Miami in 1896 and Key West in 1912. There are several histories about both subjects but nothing about the “missing link” – the portion of the railroad from Miami to Homestead. This article details when and how that section of the railroad was constructed.
The Campbell Furniture Company Building
The Campbell family, from Madison County, Florida, is well-known in Homestead history. Campbell Drive, S.W. 312 St., is named after Thomas Alexander Campbell. There were a dizzying number of Campbells in the area and it is hard to keep them all straight. This article, which traces the history of the Campbell Furniture Store, is part of the story.
Two Early Developers in Homestead
John Ulric Free, who was from the Atlanta, Georgia area, and Russell Fleming Tatum, who was Homestead’s first mayor, were just two of the early land speculators/developers in early Homestead. Russell was kin to the Tatums who founded the Miami Land & Development Co., developers of Detroit/Florida City.
James Rufus Dorsey
James Rufus Dorsey was another early arrival in Homestead. He owned the Dorsey School Bus Co., which transported students from the surrounding area to the Redland Farmlife School, established in 1916.
Forgotten Workers of Homestead – I
This is an interesting article based on an early postcard from Homestead. It takes the photograph on the postcard and develops the story told by the image and the writing on the card.
Forgotten Workers of Homestead – II
An article written by a descendant of Willie King, an employee of Clarence Parman, who was a prominent architect and lime grower in Homestead, is dissected and developed further in this essay.
John Ulric Free
John Ulric Free was a very prominent early figure in Homestead. He was the half-brother of Joseph C. Burton, the father of Dr. Joseph L. Burton. He had his fingers in every important real estate transaction in early Homestead.
Walter A. Frazeur
Walter A. Frazeur was another early businessman in Homestead. He established the first telephone company, whose office was in Frazeur’s house in the Redlands. He was murdered in Miami over a business dispute involving the sale of a sawmill.
Alexander Cattell Graw
A. C. Graw was a retired businessman when he came to Detroit in 1914. He soon purchased the Homestead Enterprise and established himself as a powerful voice as editor of the paper for Prohibition and civic affairs.
Hupmobiles in Homestead.
Homestead, whose economy was largely based on real estate speculation, was a booming town in the mid-1920s. It had a number of automobile dealerships that sold cars made by Pontiac, Oakland, Cadillac and, of course, Ford and Chevrolet. But it also had a company that sold Hupmobiles. This is the story of that dealership.
Rev. Joseph A. Kahl – Part I
Rev. Joseph A. Kahl’s story is told from the beginning up to his marriage to Harriet Woodbury in this installment.
Rev.Joseph A. Kahl – Part II
The continuation of Rev. Kahl’s story stops with his wife’s tragic death in 1913.
Rev.Joseph A. Kahl – Part III
This article concludes the three-part series on the life of Rev. Joseph A. Kahl.
William A. King
William A. King, for whom King’s Highway is named, was another early land speculator, developer and railroad tie businessman. He homesteaded the land where the Winn-Dixie store is now located at the corner of King’s Highway and Old Dixie.
Berte A. Parlin
Berte A. Parlin was a civil engineer who worked for Flagler’s Key West Extension. He filed an early homestead claim and was briefly Homestead’s first postmaster, though never confirmed as such. He left his position to resume his civil engineering work on the Extension and lost his life in the 1906 hurricane, when he and many of those he supervised were swept out to sea.
Rambles – Impressions of Homestead by a Miami Herald Columnist in 1923
This is a transcription of a 1923 article published in The Miami Herald. It sheds some interesting light on what people in Homestead did for entertainment which has not been written about anywhere else that I know of.
Russell F. Tatum
Russell Fleming Tatum was elected as Homestead’s first mayor in January of 1913 but, like many others, he didn’t stay in Homestead long – just 5 years. Very few people know his name – this is the first in-depth article that I know of about his tenure in this area.
James Daniel Redd
Walter Jackson Tweedell, who, with his brother Erving owned the Tweedell Brothers store in Cutler, was this area’s first County Commissioner. Upon his death in 1921, James D. Redd was appointed to fill the vacancy. He continued to serve and was very influential in a large number of issues that affected this area.
Telephone Companies in Early Homestead
Homestead had two telephone companies in 1911. One was a sole proprietorship owned by Walter Frazeur and the other was a stock company. This article covers the history of telephony from the beginning until Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co. bought the telephone company in Homestead in 1925.
Homestead Area Telephone Subscribers in 1912
I came across this most interesting advertisement by the Dade County Telephone Co. in Homestead. It appeared in the April 12, 1912 issue of The South Florida Banner. It lists the number of rings to call other subscribers and shows subscribers in the Redland, Longview, Detroit and Homestead local lines and the Naranja to Perrine Local line. Take a look – one of your ancestors might be on the list!
The History of Homestead’s Town Hall Building
Homestead’s first Town Hall was built in 1916-1917 by John Franklin Umphrey. This is the “back” story of the building that includes details of the politics behind the selection of the site for the building. That story has never been told anywhere else.
Walter Jackson Tweedell
Walter J. Tweedell, along with his brother Ervin, owned the Tweedell Brothers store in Cutler. The other store was the Brown and Moody store. Both stores were destinations for the early pioneers of this area when they went shopping for supplies. Tweedell was Homestead’s first County Commissioner.