FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives
Miami-Dade Co. Biographies
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
II, page 135, 1923.
BROOKER, HENRY. In the building and development of the town of Homestead in Dade County
the essential figure has been HENRY BROOKER, a man who came here something over ten years
ago without capital and by hard work and enterprise has made a substantial fortune for
himself and helped create many of the valuable interests in and around Homestead.
He is a native of De Soto County, Florida, but when a boy his parents removed to Polk County
where he was reared and acquired his early education. He went to work for himself when a
youth, and was still in his teens when he started a small business enterprise at Jupiter,
in what is now Palm Beach County, then Dade County. This venture ended with a total loss.
After this temporary disaster in his affairs he came to Homestead in the southern part of
Dade County in 1911. He was entirely without capital, but his good character proved an
asset in attaining credit, and in 1912 he opened a small general merchandise store. In
spite of a very humble beginning this business has grown and prospered and increased greatly
every year, and now comprises a large department store carrying all lines of general
merchandise including hardware and farm implements. It is one of the most successful
mercantile concerns in Southeast Florida and enjoys the highest standing in financial
and commercial circles. The business is incorporated and conducted under the name of
the Homestead Mercantile Company of which Mr. BROOKER is the president.
Mr. BROOKER has greatly expanded his business buildings on Krome Street. His original
store building was erected in 1912. In 1914 a thirty-five foot addition was built. Then
in 1922 was added a theatre and two more store buildings of thirty-foot frontage, a handsome
moving picture house, thus giving Mr. BROOKER a business frontage of 160 feet on that
thoroughfare. All the buildings are two stories high, of substantial construction, and
they contribute a great deal to the architectural character of the entire town. Aside
from this central business Mr. BROOKER has valuable and extensive farm interests in the
vicinity, and has used his influence steadily to promote the most substantial growth of
this prosperous section. Mr. BROOKER is married and has three children named HENRY, Jr.,
CHARLES and RONALD.
Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn
©2010 Fran Smith
This page presented August 14, 2010