Hernando County
Hernando County Courthouse
Hernando County Courthouse
Official seal of Hernando County
Map of Florida highlighting Hernando County
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 28°33′N 82°28′W / 28.55°N 82.47°W / 28.55; -82.47
Country United States
State Florida
FoundedFebruary 24, 1843
Named forHernando de Soto
SeatBrooksville
Largest communitySpring Hill
Area
 • Total589 sq mi (1,530 km2)
 • Land473 sq mi (1,230 km2)
 • Water116 sq mi (300 km2)  19.8%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2020)
194,515
 • Density410/sq mi (160/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district11th
Websitewww.hernandocounty.us

Hernando County is a county located on the west central coast of the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2020 census, the population was 194,515.[1] Its county seat is Brooksville,[2] and its largest community is Spring Hill.

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.[3]

History

Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto
Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto

Around 1840, Fort DeSoto was established in present-day Hernando County in the northeast edge of present-day Brooksville to protect settlers in the area from Native Americans. Fort DeSoto became a small community center, trading post, and way station on the route to Tampa. Settlements started to grow near the fort beginning around 1845; two towns developed, Melendez and Pierceville, which would later merge to create Brooksville in 1856.[4]

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,[5] whose name has also been honored in DeSoto 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 the 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 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.

In 1855, town founder Joseph Hale donated land for a county courthouse in the center of present-day Brooksville. Soon thereafter, the structure was completed.

During the Civil War, Hernando County primarily contributed foodstuffs, cotton, and lumber to the Confederacy. Although Union ships imposed a blockade on the port of Bayport, runners enjoyed a great deal of success—enough to lead the Union in June 1864 to order some 150–250 troops to destroy Confederate stockpiles in the county. In early July, the expedition marched northward from Anclote River to Brooksville, meeting some resistance from assembled Confederate troops hastily organized to protect the city. The Federal troops won this engagement (known locally as the Brooksville Raid[6] and marched to Bayport, where they and an auxiliary force landing from gunboats sacked Rebel operations. The skirmish between Union raiders and local Confederates is reenacted annually in the county.[7]

Arthur St. Clair, a minister, was lynched in Hernando County, Florida, in 1877 for performing the wedding of a black man and white woman.[8]

The county courthouse was destroyed by a fire on September 29, 1877. On June 2, 1887, the Florida State Legislature divided Hernando County into three independent counties: Pasco County to the south, Citrus County to the north, and Hernando County in the middle. Since then, Hernando County's borders have remained unchanged.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 589 square miles (1,530 km2), of which 473 square miles (1,230 km2) is land and 116 square miles (300 km2) (19.8%) is water.[9] According to the World Atlas USA, Hernando County is the geographic center of Florida. Elevation in the county ranges from mean sea level along the Gulf coast to its highest natural point of 269 feet at Chinsegut Hill.[10]

Adjacent counties

National protected area

State protected areas

Weeki Wachee Springs

Withlacoochee State Forest

Other points of interest

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850926
18601,20029.6%
18702,938144.8%
18804,24844.6%
18902,476−41.7%
19003,63846.9%
19104,99737.4%
19204,548−9.0%
19304,9488.8%
19405,64114.0%
19506,69318.6%
196011,20567.4%
197017,00451.8%
198044,469161.5%
1990101,115127.4%
2000130,80229.4%
2010172,77832.1%
2020194,51512.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2015[1] 2019[15]
Hernando County racial composition as of 2020
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Pop 2010[18] Pop 2020[19] % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 141,847 144,060 82.1% 74.06%
Black or African American (NH) 8,165 9,507 4.73% 4.89%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 483 553 0.28% 0.28%
Asian (NH) 1,815 2,566 1.05% 1.32%
Pacific Islander (NH) 62 86 0.04% 0.04%
Some Other Race (NH) 244 868 0.14% 0.45%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 2,366 7,830 1.37% 4.03%
Hispanic or Latino 17,796 29,045 10.3% 14.93%
Total 172,778 194,515

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 194,515 people, 76,708 households, and 51,765 families residing in the county.

As of the census[20] of 2000, there were 130,802 people, 55,425 households, and 40,016 families residing in the county. The population density was 106/sq mi (274/km2). There were 62,727 housing units at an average density of 51/sq mi (131/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.85% White, 4.07% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.98% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 5.04% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. 91.1% spoke English, 4.5% Spanish, 1.1% German and 1.1% Italian as their first language.

There were 55,425 households, which 21.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.40% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.80% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.70.

In the county 18.90% of the population was under the age of 18, 5.40% was between the ages of 18 to 24, 20.40% between 25 to 44, 24.40% between 45 and 64, and 30.90% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females there were 90.50 males. For every 100 females, age 18 and over, there were 87.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,572, and the median income for a family was $37,509. Males had a median income of $30,295 versus $21,661 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,321. About 7.10% of families and 10.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.90% of those under age 18 and 6.20% of those ages 65 or over.

Economy

Hernando County is home to the largest (truck-to-truck) Wal-Mart Distribution Center in the U.S. approximately 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m2) in size and located in Ridge Manor. The industrial park Airport Industrial Park is a 155-acre (0.63 km2) located near the Hernando County Airport. Over one hundred aviation, manufacturing and distribution businesses are located in this area.

Top employers

The top employers of Hernando County are as follows:[21]
1. Hernando County School Board (3,002)
2. Walmart (1,350)
3. Hernando County Government
4. Oak Hill Hospital (1,561)
5. Publix (1,050)
6. Walmart Hernando Distribution center (1,020)

Transportation

Airports

Mass transit

Hernando THE Bus provides bus service in Brooksville and Spring Hill.

Railroads

CSX operates two rail lines within the county. Amtrak formerly provided passenger rail service along the old Atlantic Coast Line Railroad line east of US 301 in Ridge Manor, but had no stops in the county, the nearest stops being Dade City, and its last train on the line, the Palmetto had its Florida service discontinued in late 2004.[22] The other line is the Brooksville Subdivision, which runs close to US 41, and was previously owned by the Seaboard Air Line. The last train directly serving the county, in Croom, was local Jacksonville - St. Petersburg service in 1955 or 1956 operated by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.[23]

Notable abandoned railroad lines include a former branch of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad spanning from southeast of Ridge Manor through Istachatta that became part of the Withlacoochee State Trail, and a spur of this line from Croom west into Brooksville, part of which is being replaced by a new rail trail called the Good Neighbor Trail. Though originally the Good Neighbor Trail only existed within Brooksville itself, the extension to the Withlacoohee State Trail has existed since 2018.

Major highways

See also: List of county roads in Hernando County, Florida

Politics

Hernando County has been trending towards the Republican party in the 21st century.

Presidential Elections

United States presidential election results for Hernando County, Florida[24]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 70,412 64.51% 37,519 34.37% 1,219 1.12%
2016 58,970 62.30% 31,795 33.59% 3,886 4.11%
2012 44,938 53.54% 37,830 45.07% 1,160 1.38%
2008 45,021 51.01% 41,886 47.46% 1,350 1.53%
2004 42,635 52.93% 37,187 46.17% 725 0.90%
2000 30,658 47.00% 32,648 50.05% 1,930 2.96%
1996 22,046 37.97% 28,524 49.12% 7,496 12.91%
1992 17,902 36.47% 19,174 39.06% 12,010 24.47%
1988 21,195 57.50% 15,437 41.88% 231 0.63%
1984 21,279 63.54% 12,204 36.44% 4 0.01%
1980 12,115 54.99% 8,858 40.21% 1,059 4.81%
1976 5,793 42.19% 7,717 56.20% 222 1.62%
1972 6,296 74.87% 2,110 25.09% 3 0.04%
1968 2,053 34.42% 1,524 25.55% 2,387 40.02%
1964 2,337 50.18% 2,320 49.82% 0 0.00%
1960 1,809 48.00% 1,960 52.00% 0 0.00%
1956 1,295 47.44% 1,435 52.56% 0 0.00%
1952 1,279 53.67% 1,104 46.33% 0 0.00%
1948 441 26.38% 825 49.34% 406 24.28%
1944 346 25.67% 1,002 74.33% 0 0.00%
1940 381 24.87% 1,151 75.13% 0 0.00%
1936 313 21.92% 1,115 78.08% 0 0.00%
1932 258 19.04% 1,097 80.96% 0 0.00%
1928 661 47.79% 701 50.69% 21 1.52%
1924 59 14.71% 300 74.81% 42 10.47%
1920 132 16.14% 622 76.04% 64 7.82%
1916 38 6.79% 446 79.64% 76 13.57%
1912 18 4.70% 272 71.02% 93 24.28%
1908 57 16.81% 260 76.70% 22 6.49%
1904 12 5.97% 172 85.57% 17 8.46%
1900 18 6.29% 252 88.11% 16 5.59%
1896 37 13.31% 231 83.09% 10 3.60%
1892 0 0.00% 227 73.23% 83 26.77%


Local Government

Board of County Commissioners

Hernando County's chief legislative body is the Board of County Commissioners. The county is divided into five Districts, each with their own commissioner. Commissioners are elected by the voters at large, to four-year terms.[25] Specific duties of the county Commissioners are outlined in Chapter 125, Florida Statutes.

Map of the five county commission districts
Map of the five county commission districts
District 1
District 1 Elected Officials
Year Commissioner Party Term
2018 John Mitten REP June 2018 - 2020[26]
2016 Nick Nicholson REP 2016 - June 2018[26]
2012 Nick Nicholson REP 2012 - 2016
2008 Jeff Stabins REP 2008 - 2012
District 1 Elections Results
Election Year Candidates Party Number of Votes Percentage of Votes
2016[27] Nick Nicholson REP 49,973 52.42%
Jimmy Lodato DEM 38,934 40.84%
Total Votes 88,907
2012[28] Nick Nicholson REP 39,730 50.69%
Arlene Glantz DEM 32,716 41.73%
Joseph J. Swilley Sr INT 5,775 7.37%
Write-In Votes 177 0.23%
Total Votes 78,398
2008[29] Jeff Stabins REP 47,175 57.41%
Ramon J Gurierrez DEM 34,995 42.59%
Total Votes 82,170
District 2
District 2 Elected Officials
Year Commissioner Party Term
2018 Wayne Dukes REP 2018-2022
2014 Wayne Dukes REP 2014-2018
2010 Wayne Dukes REP 2010-2014
2006 Rose Rocco DEM 2006-2010
2002 Hannah M. "Nancy" Robinson DEM 2002-2006
District 2 Elections Results
Election Year Candidates Party Number of Votes Percentage of Votes
2018[30] Wayne Dukes REP 46,296 58.90%
Deborah A Salvesen DEM 32,304 41.10%
Total Votes 78,600
2014[31] Wayne Dukes REP 30,673 49.40%
Jimmy Lodato DEM 26,996 43.47%
Brian Moore NPA 4,427 7.13%
Total Votes 62,096
District 3
District 3 Elected Officials
Year Commissioner Party Term
2016 John Allocco REP 2016-2020
2012 Diane Rowden DEM 2012-2016
2008 John Druzbick REP 2008-2012
District 3 Elections Results
Election Year Candidates Party Number of Votes Percentage of Votes
2016[27] John Allocco REP 52,667 55.25%
Diane Rowden DEM 37,177 39.00%
Total Votes 89,844
2012[28] Jason Patrick Sager REP 34,899 43.86%
Diane Rowden DEM 32,716 47.26%
Gregory Lewis Sheldo NPA 6,861 8.62%
Write-In Votes 201 0.25%
Total Votes 79,564
2008[29] John Druzbick REP 44,270 53.55%
Diane Rowden DEM 38,404 46.45%
Total Votes 82,674
District 4
District 4 Elected Officials
Year Commissioner Party Term
2018 Jeff Holcomb REP 2018-2022
2014 Jeff Holcomb REP 2014-2018
2010 David Russell REP 2010-2014
2006 David Russell REP 2006-2010
District 4 Elections Results
Election Year Candidates Party Number of Votes Percentage of Votes
2018[30] Jeff Holcomb REP 48,864 61.90%
Nancy Makar DEM 30,073 38.10%
Total Votes 78,937
2014[31] Jeff Holcomb REP 33,710 54.91%
Daniel T. Oliver DEM 25,026 40.76%
H. David Werder NPA 2,656 4.33%
Total Votes 61,392
District 5
District 5 Elected Officials
Year Commissioner Party Term
2016 Steve Champion REP 2016-2020
2012 James E Adkins REP 2012-2016
2008 James E Adkins REP 2008-2012
District 5 Elections Results
Election Year Candidates Party Number of Votes Percentage of Votes
2016[27] Steve Champion REP 55,892 58.63%
Paul Douglas DEM 32,362 33.95%
Total Votes 88,254
2012[28] James E Adkins REP 44,091 56.56%
Ramon J Gutierrez DEM 33,859 43.44%
Total Votes 77,950
2008[29] James E. Adkins REP 41,796 50.81%
Christopher Kingsley DEM 40,471 49.19%
Total Votes 82,267

Constitutional Officers

Clerk of Court and Comptroller
Year Officer Party Term
2020 Doug Chorvat REP 2020-2022
2018 Doug Chorvat REP 2018-2020
2016 Donald C. Barbee, Jr. REP 2016-2018
Supervisor Of Elections
Year Officer Party Term
2020 Shirley Anderson REP 2020-2024
2016[27] Shirley Anderson REP 2016-2020
2012[28] Shirley Anderson REP 2012-2016
2008[29] Annie D Williams DEM 2008-2012
Property Appraiser
Year Officer Party Term
2016 John Emerson REP 2016-2020
2012 John Emerson REP 2012-2016
Sheriff
Year Officer Party Term
2020 Alvin "Al" Nienhuis REP 2020-2024
2016 Alvin "Al" Nienhuis REP 2016-2020
2012 Alvin "Al" Nienhuis REP 2012-2016
2010[32] Alvin "Al" Nienhuis REP 2010-2012
2008 Richard B Nugent REP 2008-2010

Emergency Management

Fire Departments

The Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department was decommissioned on 2/15/17 and taken over by the Hernando County Fire Department.[33]

Law Enforcement Agencies

Hospitals

Library

The county is served by the Hernando County Library System. This is a public library system with one central library located in Brooksville and four other branches in Brooksville and Spring Hill. There are no bookmobiles associated with this library system. As of 2013, the staff totaled 42 people, including 11 librarians and 31 other staff members, only ten of which were full-time employees. The Florida Library Association chose the Hernando system as its 2013 Library of the Year. This library system serves a legal population of 136,484 people. The annual number of library visits is 480,706. There are 49 Internet terminals for use by the general public. The annual service hours for all service outlets is 12,215.

The library system has four branches:

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[16][17]

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Christie, Les (March 15, 2006). "100 Fastest Growing Counties". CNN.
  4. ^ "About". City of Brooksville. City of Brooksville. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 155.
  6. ^ Cannon, Jeff (December 11, 2009). "The Brooksville-Bayport Raid and The Civil War in Hernando County". Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
  7. ^ "Brooksville raid re-enactment to be held today". St. Petersburg Times. www.tampabay.com. January 15, 2011. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  8. ^ Cotter, Holland (June 1, 2018). "A Memorial to the Lingering Horror of Lynching". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  10. ^ Chinsegut Hill, Florida (Mountain Peaks.net) Archived 2012-02-23 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "QuickFacts. Florida counties". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  16. ^ https://www.census.gov/[not specific enough to verify]
  17. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  18. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  19. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  20. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  21. ^ http://hernandochamber.com/pages/demographics Her Chamber
  22. ^ "St. Petersburg Times". Loss of Amtrak service shouldn't derail Dade City. Retrieved October 29, 2004.
  23. ^ "Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Table 15". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 88 (4). September 1955.
  24. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  25. ^ "Board of County Commissioners | Hernando County, FL". www.hernandocounty.us. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  26. ^ a b "Woman who says she exchanged sex for rent with Hernando commissioner describes political alliances". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  27. ^ a b c d "ElectionSummaryReport" (PDF). Hernando County Supervisor of Elections. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  28. ^ a b c d "GEMS ELECTION SUMMARY REPORT" (PDF). Hernando County Supervisor of Elections. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  29. ^ a b c d "GEMS ELECTION SUMMARY REPORT" (PDF). Hernando County Supervisor of Elections. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Official Election Summary Report" (PDF). Hernando County Supervisor of Elections. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  31. ^ a b "GEMS ELECTION SUMMARY REPORT" (PDF). Hernando County Supervisor of Elections. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  32. ^ "Governor appoints Alvin Nienhuis as Hernando County Sheriff". wtsp.com. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  33. ^ "County pulls plug on Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  34. ^ "City Council disbands Brooksville Police Department". May 1, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018.

Coordinates: 28°33′N 82°28′W / 28.55°N 82.47°W / 28.55; -82.47