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Homestead

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 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.

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. A third installment has yet to be written.

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.

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

Are you interested in early telephony in Homestead? This article will answer your questions about the subject.

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.