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A. H. Brook
The History of Florida: Past & Present
The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol. II, page 248, 1923

 BROOK, A. H. In the material and civic development of Fort Lauderdale and vicinity no one has done a more conspicuous work in recent years than A. H. BROOK, a man of wealth and of prominent business connections in New York, who has established himself permanently in South Florida. Mr. BROOK is an Englishman by birth, born in Yorkshire in 1866. In 1869, when he was three years of age, his parents came to America, locating at Elizabethtown, New Jersey. When he was seven years of age he was sent back to England and educated at Springvale Academy, Upperthorpe in Yorkshire. He was seventeen when he returned to the United States, and soon afterward, at Brooklyn, started the work which by rapid advances brought him a conspicuous position in advertising circles. His first employment was with the O.J. Gude Company, an outdoor advertising and billboard concern. His first employment was in the construction of signs and billboards. He was promoted to foreman, and soon achieved executive responsibilities in the headquarters of the concern until he was made general manager. Advertising men give Mr. BROOK credit for being one of the originators in developing the Great White Way of New York with its myriad of beautiful electric signs. After leaving the Gude Company Mr. BROOK founded a similar business of his own, conducted under the title of the "Mr. Brook of Brooklyn" Company, of which he was president. Later he sold this to the Thomas Cusack Company, a national concern of outdoor and billboard advertisers, and was made general manager of the New York branch of the Cusack Company. He was with this company until he retired in 1920, and for a number of years commanded a salary of $25,000.00, and for eighteen years superintended the expenditure of practically $10,000,000 a year in outdoor publicity throughout the nation. Mr. BROOK is a famous yachtsman. He is commodore of the Jamaica Bay Yacht Club of New York, and until he came to Florida he was a regular participant in the regattas and races of that club. He is also a former commodore of the Canarsie Yacht Club of Brooklyn. He raced his yacht, the Seamew No. 2, in twenty-two contests of the Jamaica Bay Club, and won the champion- ship in nineteen of these races. His boat was the champion of its class over all comers in the regattas of 1919. Since 1913 he has been vice president of the Waterways League of America, and since 1914 he has been chairman of the Committee on Aids to Navigation. In August, 1919, Mr. BROOK with his sister made a trip along the East Coast of Florida, and while somewhat hurriedly passing through Fort Lauderdale, was strongly impressed with the environment. The following year he decided to locate here permanently. He wound up his active New York business connections, gave up his home in Brooklyn, and on December 1, 1920, became a permanent resident of Fort Lauderdale. He has developed a beautiful home, Brookside, on the New River, this home being presided over by his sister. Many other valuable property interests here and in the vicinity have been acquired by him. The most notable of these is Wyldewood, a sub-tropical estate of forty acres, six miles south of Fort Lauderdale on the Dixie Highway. This is one of the garden spots of Florida, a place of rare beauty, and visitors have carried its fame over the world. Since purchasing the tract Mr. BROOK has expended about $20,000, in developing it. It is rich in its growth of tropical and sub-topical forest and foliage. The fence enclosing the estate is made of gumbo-limbo trees, the wood of which continues to grow. There are also wild olive trees and a number of magnificent specimens of the pheasant tail croton tree, as well as twenty-eight other varieties of the croton. Perhaps the most remarkable exhibit of vegetation is the so called "two million dollar tree", a banyan tree, native to India, which originally got its growth at this place from seed dropped by some bird on top of a live oak tree. From that beginning the limbs gradually grew down to the ground, completely enveloping the oak like a giant octopus and forming a guard for the oak tree that is practically impenetrable. It is in fact a vegetable octopus. Wyldewood also has its commercial horticulture, including a grove of grape fruit trees said to be the largest on the Southeast Coast of Florida. A number of these trees are from fifty to sixty feet high. Wyldewood is also noted for its birds, including various kinds of pheasants, Japanese fowls, Chinese chickens and a variety of pigeons. During the season of 1921-22 Wyldewood was kept open as a place of entertainment for tourists and visitors, the proceeds being donated to the Florida Children's Home Society, whose headquarters are in Jacksonville. Mr. BROOK is president of the Fort Lauderdale Anglers Club and is vice president of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
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