The Beginnings of Goulds
by Jeff Blakley
Jean Taylor, in her book Villages of South Dade, gives only the sketchiest of information about the founding of Goulds, writing only that it was named for a “Mr. Gould,” who was from Indiana and was the foreman of a tie-cutting crew for the Florida East Coast Railway. I’m posting this essay to expand on her account a little bit.
Lyman B. Gould was born in July, 1857 in Brown Township, Washington County, Indiana. His parents were Riley and Sarah Gould, born ca. 1823 and 1827, respectively. In 1880, Lyman was a brakeman on a railroad in Washington County, Nebraska. By 1900, he was living in Cocoanut Grove with his wife, S. Catherine. Among his neighbors were John and Antoinette Frederick. John S. Frederick was a prominent civil engineer who was employed by the Florida East Coast Railway. His name appears on many legal documents in early Dade County history.
Lyman didn’t stay that long in Dade County – on April 22, 1909, he registered to vote in Maricopa County, Arizona and later got into real estate there. Russell F. Tatum, Homestead’s first mayor, also moved to Phoenix and continued his real estate career there. Tatum Boulevard in that city is named after him. Lyman returned to Dade County some time before 1928 and died here that year.
After Lyman left what later became known as the community of Goulds, development proceeded apace. I found the following article in the September 27, 1912 issue of the The Miami Metropolis and thought it would be of interest to those of you interested in the history of the area.
45,000 Gallons of Tomato Pulp Shipped Out First Year, Output Increased in Later Years — Large Acreages Will Be Planted to Tomatoes and Truck This Year
A season of marvelous development covering the brief span of the past three years has changed the town of Goulds, which lies some 23 miles south of Miami, from a flag station where trains rarely stopped, and the only hint of human habitation was a little store operated only during the winter months to the largest tomato shipping point south of Miami, commonly referred to as the “Gate way to the Redlands,” and the center of one of the most prosperous truck and fruit growing sections in all south Florida.
The town had its inception three years ago from the operation of a large tract of the big thousand-acre farm of Mr. J. C. Baile, with whom Mr. G. L. Miller was associated in the handling of the big crop. Each year has seen a large increase in settlers and in the acreage set to fruit and truck. In response to a growing demand for lots, the Miller-Baile subdivision of fifteen acres was lately placed on the market, and a large number of lots have already been sold. The property is owned by Mr. G. L. Miller, a member of the Walter Waldin Investment company, and Mr. J. C. Baile, a prominent business man and fruit grower of this section.
The visitor to Goulds is at once impressed with the fact that it must be a great truck growing section, for four well equipped packing houses are to be seen. One of them, Mr. A. L. Hearn’s, is now busy packing this year’s grapefruit, and while the car of fruit lately put on its way by an elaborate legal process is said to be experiencing further difficulties en route, still growers with ripening fruit in that section, are asking Mr. Hearn to pack their crops as soon as possible.
Besides the packing industry a tomato catsup factory takes care of the “over-ripes” and culls of the big tomato crop of that section, which otherwise would be a total loss, and yearly carload after carload of the finest catsup in the world is shipped away from this plant to the markets of the north, to become the main ingredient of the famous Heinz and Armour brands of catsup.
In the early fall of 1909, Mr. G. L. Miller who was interested with Mr. J. C. Baile in the cropping of several hundred acres of tomatoes on Mr. Baile’s thousand-acre farm at that point, went to Chicago and interested the Grant-Beall company, which came and established a factory to prepare tomato pulp, and the first year 45,000 gallons of the pulp was shipped out, or more than ten carloads. In 1910 the plan of preparing pulp was changed to making catsup, and the latter industry has proven profitable during the last two seasons.
Among the new buildings lately completed is the new hotel, a butcher shop, a school house, upon ground donated by Mr. Miller, two residences, and the announcement is made that next week several houses will start in the new Miller-Baile subdivision. Mr. B. E. Hearn plans to open soon a much-needed lumber yard and hardware store, which will facilitate the building operations there to a considerable extent.
From all indications there will be a much larger acreage of truck planted this year at Goulds than ever before. Many new truckers have come in from the north and from other sections of Florida, and will take part in this season’s operations. Mr. T. V. Moore and Mr. Tom McClane will put out 25 acres, all to tomatoes. Mr. J. H. Bush will have his usual 125 acres. Mr. Bush lives at Goulds and is obtaining a reputation as one of the successful growers of that section. The big Baile farm will have 300 or 400 acres in tomatoes. Mr. Will Peters expects to plant about 100 acres. Mr. Tom Peters, commonly known as the “tomato king,” from his remarkable success with this crop, will have about 400 acres.
Mr. Preston Lee and Mr. W. Mobley intend planting about 10 to 15 acres each, while Messrs. D. H. Lyle, [hole in paper] Clifford, P. C. Crockett, H. Poppell, J. Griffith, H. A. Proctor, Caldwell, R. L. Sanford, W. H. Parker and S. P. Lewis will have in their usual acreage.
There are a number of “seeds” of future articles embedded in this essay. T. V. Moore was an early settler in Miami and was known as the Pineapple King. His wife was involved in many civic activities and she helped found Royal Palm State Park. Preston Lee was a very important early agriculturalist and Simeon P. Lewis carried the U. S. Mail between Cutler and Black Point, before the Florida East Coast Railway was extended to Homestead in 1904. Not mentioned in the article is William H. Cauley, for whom Cauley Square is named.
Here is the plat of the town of Goulds that was mentioned in the article. Note the existence of Baile’s Road. Click on the title under the image to download a copy of the plat that you can enlarge to study further.
Interesting article, another great job Jeff. Thanks for your work on preserving Homestead’s past.
Is Richmond Heights named for Samuel Richmond? I saw this article on Wikipedia and it mentions Richmond Timber Works: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Heights,_Florida#History
I believe Richmond Heights was named after the Richmond Naval Air Station, which is where the Goldcoast Railroad Museum is now located. I suspect that Richmond Heights took its name from Richmond Drive, which was named after Samuel H. Richmond so there is an indirect link there, no doubt. I doubt that the founder of Richmond Heights knew the significance of the name, though. If anyone would like to write an article about Richmond Heights, I’d be more than happy to publish it!
I grew up in Cutler on Richmond Dr.
Good piece, clear and detailed. And another square on the great historic puzzle is painted in…
Good day, my name is Tangela and I was reading this article and my aunt was telling me about the research that she found. I’m going to Florida (actually she’s my great-aunt) and I’m trying to find out are you talking about my grandfather Preston Lee who was married to Daisy Lee. We all have resided in Goulds, Florida. It Would be nice to know if you were talking about my grandfather.
I’m sorry, Tangela, but this Preston Lee’s wife’s maiden name was Ruth Strickland.
Nice article. Interesting relating the road names and communities along U.S.1 still there.
My husband, Charles Burr, Jr.’s grandfather, Raymond Y. Burr, was partner with Mr. Bush in farming out in the glade to the east of Burr and Bush Rd. Theirs were the only 2 houses around in the ‘20s.
My Father, Allan M. Moseley, was born on the Moseley homestead on Burr Road in 1917. My Grandfather, Hervey A. Moseley (my Dad’s Father) built the home prior to 1917 so there was
another home there that was built after 1910. My Grandparents donated the debris from a rockpit on their property to Dade County to have 127th Avenue paved from Hainlin Mill Drive.
Good day, I am Geneva Rolle Wright, raised there in Goulds, Fla. on Old Cutler Road. My grandparents were Mr. Elisha Rolle and Mrs. Olive Rolle, pioneers of the area. Most of the park was their land, very wooded area with many paths to walk through to get to U.S. 1 and Hainlin Drive. Our neighbors were Ms. Collier, Ms. Bowes, Ms. Rachel and Mr. Maycox. Some of the history was told to me about Goulds when I was coming up. It’s amazing how the area has grown.I guess time has bought about a change. Thanks for the information.
Jean Taylor did the best she could with what she had to work with; she spent countless hours driving to people’s homes trying to gather information. My mother and auntie contributed to the information. Peggy Dye was my grandmother and an early settler. Our family is featured in the book. I do not like negative comments about Jean Taylor.
Barbara, I’m sorry you don’t like what I wrote about Jean Taylor. Nonetheless, I stand by my view of her work. I’d direct you to my personal website, where I have a more detailed critique of Jean’s work. Jean’s book is an important starting point but it is not the final word on the history of South Dade and I’m quite sure that if Jean was still alive, she would agree with me.
My dad (Bill Biggs) and his sister (Betty Cox) lived in a house in this addition back in the 40’s and 50’s. It fronted US1 sort of where the Wayside park is. It had a cistern on the side. There used to be a tennis court across the street (Ingraham)in the 70’s. He worked at a gas station that is in that same addition. It was located on the pie shaped piece (Maybe lot 7). Not exactly founders, but part of history none the less. I think Andrew knocked the house down.