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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
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.
This county is named for Hernando de Soto (c.1496/1497-1542), a Spanish explorer and conquistador.
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
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
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.
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.
Bordering counties are as follows: