FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives
Miami-Dade Co. Biographies
CHEEK, Bert G.
Author: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923, Vol. II pg.138
CHEEK, BERT G., a resident of Miami, has been the moving spirit in one of
the largest development enterprises undertaken in South Florida in recent
years. This enterprise is now incorporated as the Okeelanta Food Products
Corporation, which Mr. CHEEK organized and of which he is president. The
scene of the corporation’s property and development projects are the famous
Upper Glades, near Lake Okeechobee.
Mr. Cheek is a man of wide experience in financial affairs. He was born
on a farm in Missouri, and for twenty years was in the banking business,
beginning his career with the National Bank of Commerce in Kansas City. For
some years he was in financial circles in Chicago and New York, and in 1916
came to South Florida.
Soon afterward he began active operations in the development of the Upper
Glades section, lying south and southeast of Lake Okeechobee. He organized
the Okeelanta Stock Farms for the purpose of developing a beef cattle
industry, and demonstrated that the best beef cattle could be produced here.
At the same time he conducted extensive agricultural operations on a highly
scientific agricultural operations as well as practical basis. These
operations involve the expenditure of a large amount of capital.
In the spring of 1922 Mr. CHEEK organized the Okeelanta Food Products
Corporation in Philadelphia, of which he is president and active head. This
corporation took over all the various interests which had been organized by
Mr. CHEEK in the Okeelanta region. The corporation has an authorized capital
of $1,000,000 and several of the large stockholders and officials are
Philadelphia bankers and business men. The announced program of the
corporation is to develop lands in the Upper Glades for growing vegetable and
meat products, acquire transportation facilities for shipping the products to
points of consumption, the building and operation of creameries, canning and
packing and cold storage plants, and the establishment of retail and wholesale
stores at Miami and elsewhere.
The properties of the corporation are embraced in Drainage District
Number One of the State of Florida, situated about a mile and a half on Lake
Okeechobee, in the extreme western part of Palm Beach County. The soil here
is of fabulous richness and of great depth. While the land has an elevation
of twenty-one feet above sea level and was formerly a vast prairie, the state
canals have furnished a thorough system of drainage so that it is possible to
cultivate this property at all times.
Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn
©2010 Fran Smith
This page presented August 14, 2010