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Florida Counties
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Florida Counties

There are sixty-seven counties in the state of Florida. In 1821, there were only two Counties in Florida: Escambia to the west and St. Johns to the east. From these two Counties were formed 67 today. Its last county was created in 1925 with the formation of Gilchrist County from a segment of Alachua County.

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Hernando County, Florida

Hernando County Education, Geography, and HistoryHernando County, Florida Courthouse

Hernando County is a county located in the state of Florida. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 172,778. Hernando County was created on February 24, 1843 from Alachua County (was renamed Benton County from March 6, 1844 to December 24, 1850). The county seat is Brooksville, and its largest community is Spring Hill. This county is named for Hernando de Soto (c.1496/1497-1542), a Spanish explorer and conquistador.

Hernando County is included in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2005, Hernando was the 35th fastest growing county in the country.

Etymology - Origin of Hernando County Name

This county is named for Hernando de Soto (c.1496/1497-1542), a Spanish explorer and conquistador.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Hernando County History

Then encompassing a significantly larger area of west central Florida than it does today, Hernando County was officially established on February 27, 1843, two years prior to Florida's admission into the Union. It was created from portions of Alachua, Hillsborough and Orange Counties and included all of present day Citrus and Pasco Counties. Named for Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, whose name has also been honored in De Soto County, Hernando County was briefly renamed Benton County in 1844 for Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, a strong supporter of territorial expansion who aided in the county's creation. However, Benton fell out of favor with the county's residents later in the decade due to his decision to support the Missouri Compromise and overall reversal of his stance on slavery, and the county's name reverted in 1850.

In December 1854, the legislature designated the small port town of Bayport the County Seat. Residents living in the eastern section of the county instead desired a more central place for the county government, and by 1855, voters had selected an inland site within five miles (8 km) of the center of the county at the town of Melendez. In 1856, the citizens of the Hernando County chose to rename the town, their new County Seat, Brooksville in honor of South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks, who in the same year beat fierce abolitionist Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the Senate chambers, winning the Congressman great renown in the South.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 589 square miles (1,526 km2), of which, 478 square miles (1,239 km2) of it is land and 111 square miles (287 km2) of it (18.80%) is water.

 Hernando Beach is located close to the center of Florida. According to the World Atlas USA, Hernando County is the geographic center of Florida.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Citrus County
  • Northeast: Sumter County
  • South: Pasco County
  • West: Gulf of Mexico


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