Sunday, May 8, 2016

Florida Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, a "champion of Everglades drainage"

Did you know Broward County is 101 years old? It is. Western sprawl in south Florida began many years ago with the drainage of the Everglades. Below are two excerpts from this article in The Palm Beach Post from last year:

     "On April 30, 1915, Broward County was formed from parts of Palm Beach and Dade counties. Palm Beach had itself been carved out just eight years earlier from Dade. [emphasis added]
     Bill McGoun, a now-retired longtime Post writer and editor and a frequent contributor to Post Time, wrote a short history of Broward for the Broward County Historical Commission. Here are excerpts:
     Broward’s first non-Indian settlers arrived in the late 1700s, settling in what’s now downtown Fort Lauderdale on the south side of the New River."

[and later . . .]

     "Its [Broward County's] namesake was one of those people history scholars either love or hate. Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, the state’s 19th governor, had been elected in 1904 as a champion of Everglades drainage, and during his four-year tenure, dredges worked day and night to turn wetlands into farmlands.
     Broward County wasn’t immune to the 1920s real estate boom and bust, and the population explosion that followed World War II. The county’s population went from 5,135 in 1920 to 620,100 a half century later."

Below is a picture of Florida Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward on a tour of the Everglades drainage in 1906. In the Post article you'll learn about "Major William Lauderdale", the Second Seminole War, and a man named Henry Flagler who had a little part in all this history of what's called south Florida.
Florida Gov. Broward standing on the right in this picture. Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.