History of Palm Beach County
settlers [were] Captain H. D. Pierce and family, H. F. Hammon and Wm. M. Lanehart. (1873) In 1875 the Dimmicks; Geers', and Mel Spencer arrived. By 1878 some 180 homesteaders had settled in what is now known as Palm Beach County, then Dade County. With the coming of white people there followed a small colony of colored people in 1885 who came from the northern part of Florida and settled at Lake Worth. From this beginning arose a prosperous community, which in 1909 created for themselves a separate county legalized by the Acts of the General Assembly (Laws of Florida, Chapter 5970, Section 1) to be called Palm Beach County. Palm Beach County comprised approximately the northern half of the area of Dade County and this area remained unchanged until 1915 when Broward was created out of a portion of Palm Beach and Dade Counties.
In early days, prior to the coming of the Florida East Coast Railway, (1895) the settlement of Palm Beach was of great importance as a distributing terminus. Mail for all of Dade County was delivered at Palm Beach and then carried by the mail carrier who walked the beach in distributing mail from Palm Beach south as far as Miami. Miami and Palm Beach having always been rivals for county honors no doubt caused the split of Dade County into Palm Beach and Dade Counties. Also the prosperous and active little settlement at Ft. Lauderdale being wanted by both Counties no doubt resulted in the formation of Broward County which gave Ft. Lauderdale a county of its own and settled the dispute as to whether Ft. Lauderdale rightfully belonged to Dade or to Palm Beach County. To Henry P. Flagler is attributed
State Library of Florida, WPA - Historical Records Survey, County Histories
Brief history of Palm Beach County, Florida collected by the Works Progress Administration's Historical Records Survey.
Note to Researchers: Though the WPA field workers included extensive citations for the factual information contained in these county histories, it should be noted that these historical narratives were produced in the 1930s by federal government employees, and might reflect the inherent social biases of the era.