Although the area has been settled since about 1400 B.C., Broward County was founded on October 1, 1915. It was named for Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Governor of Florida from 1905 to 1909, remembered for his campaign to turn the Everglades into "useful land". It was originally intended to be named Everglades County, but then-Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Ion Farris amended the bill that established the county to be named after Broward. In 1915, Palm Beach County and Dade County contributed nearly equal portions of land to create Broward County.
Broward County began a huge development boom after its incorporation, with the first "tourist hotel", in Fort Lauderdale, opening in 1919. A year later, developers began dredging swamps in the county in order to create island communities. By 1925, the boom was considered to have reached its peak, but a 1926 hurricane caused economic depression in the county. The structure of county government was signed into law in 1975 with the passage of the Broward County charter.