HomeHomesteadJohn Ulric Free – Part II


John Ulric Free – Part II — 10 Comments

    • I really enjoy reading about history. I grew up in the Perrine-Cutler area. Later living in Homestead as a newlywed.

  1. Wow, Jeff — What an interesting and well-researched article, as we have come to expect from your diligent work. I have two suggestions:
    a. Link the Free properties to a map of downtown Homestead that shows where Free owned and built properties. The first map you showed was quite interesting. It would be nice to indicate on the maps which businesses were situated there.

    b. The bit about the KKK is even more interesting. Suggest you work on a “History of the KKK in Homestead/Florida City.” It seems that we need to understand who were the members, when, and what actions the KKK took. If there were Black or Mexican-Americans impacted by the KKK, we should be aware of what happened. If there were pressures to join the KKK placed on members of the local community, we should also be aware of what happened to “enforce” compliance with or to join the KKK.

    • Much easier said than done, Frank. The business climate in Homestead in the early days was very dynamic and the information that has survived from that time period is very limited, so your suggestions, while good, are next to impossible to achieve. The subject of the KKK is exceedingly difficult to explore – no one wants to acknowledge that their ancestors belonged to that organization.

  2. As always an interesting and amazing story of an early Homestead entrepreneur. How do you precipitate something out of nothing is magic and hard work. Thank heaven there are people like Mr. Free who can successfully practice this art. The world is full of idea people but not so many who can do the work to tame the wilderness and build a society. Thanks for all your work, Jeff.

  3. 11-9-2020

    Hi Jeff, The preservation of our history will always be remembered through your efforts. Wonderful job here and the pictures are terrific!

    Also, any connection between Joe Burton and our Burton Memorial United Methodist Church in Tavernier?

  4. What a fascinating article! My grandparents moved to Homestead from Georgia in 1919. They lived in a house which had been a post office on NW 3rd St. down from the First Methodist church on Krome Ave. I would love to see a picture of it! They were situated between two two story homes. My grandfather added two rooms in the back and a large porch in the front made of coral rock. The library was on the next street. The Livingstons lived across the street. Everything was destroyed in Hurricane Andrew.

  5. Amazing Jeff. I can see the time and hard work you put into this article. Most would look at Homestead as just a town on the way to the Keys. Having married a beautiful young lady whose family had been there since the start I have heard bits and pieces of the history. Dottie Caves, Brenda’s aunt, was very active in the start of the museum. I learned a lot from her. Nothing stays the same. I guess that’s called progress. I find that with age I regret progress. I hunger for knowledge of the past. Maybe so I cannot see the demise. I truly respect your efforts to inform. I suspect because you have dug so deep in to those good old days you are not as greatly disgruntled as many of us that have long since been removed. We love you Jeff for what you do.

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