County, created in 1915, honors one of Florida's more colorful characters, Governor
Napoleon Bonaparte Broward. Appropriately, given the county's southern location, Broward
was one of the foremost proponents of "reclaiming" the Everglades. The county
seat is Ft. Lauderdale, most likely named for Major William Lauderdale, a veteran of the
Seminole Wars. The town grew up around the site of a fort that was established around
The postcard view above is an aerial view showing both the Broward County Courthouse and the New River Canal, which connects Lake Okeechobee with the Atlantic Ocean. This was Broward County's second courthouse, replacing the converted school building shown below, and was constructed in 1926-8 at a cost of $500,000. The tower was 90 feet in height and contained a two-bedroom apartment for the jailer, located directly beneath "a bell so loud that it could be heard throughout most of Ft. Lauderdale." Adding to the aggravation, writes Sun-Sentinel history columnist Stuart McIver, the jailer's responsibilities included keeping the bell wound. Additions were made to the courthouse in 1947 and 1956, but it was razed in 1960 to make way for what McIver considers "an undistinguished multi-story structure." The bell did survive and is preserved in the lobby of the new courthouse.
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