Walton County
Walton County Courthouse
Walton County Courthouse
Official seal of Walton County
Map of Florida highlighting Walton County
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 30°37′N 86°10′W / 30.61°N 86.17°W / 30.61; -86.17
Country United States
State Florida
FoundedDecember 29, 1824
Named forGeorge Walton Jr.
SeatDeFuniak Springs
Largest cityMiramar Beach
Area
 • Total1,240 sq mi (3,200 km2)
 • Land1,038 sq mi (2,690 km2)
 • Water202 sq mi (520 km2)  16.3%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total75,305
 • Density61/sq mi (23/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitewww.co.walton.fl.us

Walton County is located on the Emerald Coast in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida, with its southern border on the Gulf of Mexico. As of the 2020 census, the population was 75,305.[1] Its county seat is DeFuniak Springs.[2] The county is home to the highest natural point in Florida: Britton Hill, at 345 feet (105 m). Walton County is included in the Crestview–Fort Walton Beach–Destin Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Walton County was organized by European Americans in 1824. It was named for Colonel George Walton Jr., secretary of the Florida Territory from 1821 to 1826. Walton, the son of George Walton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born 15 August 1786 in Augusta, Georgia, and died 20 March 1859 in Petersburg, Virginia.[3]

Between 1763 and 1783 the territory that has since become Walton County was part of the colony of British West Florida. During this time British settlers permanently settled in the area, becoming the first English-speaking people to permanently reside in what is now Walton County. During this period Scottish settlers migrated from the backcountry of the Carolinas and settled in the Defuniak Springs area while English settlers, most of whom were either farmers or fishermen, settled in the southern portion of the county by the sea, settling throughout the area that has since become Santa Rosa Beach, Sandestin, Miramar Beach, Point Washington, Seaside and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Point Washington State Forest.

While the Scottish settlers had come from a recently established Scottish-majority settlement in North Carolina, the English settlers came largely from the English regions of Norfolk, Dorset and the western half of Sussex. Both the Scots village in the northern portion of the county and the English community along the coast were largely self-contained and had economies that were entirely operational without external trade, as all products in use were made within the two respective communities, and the only external trade was between the Scots in Defuniak Springs and the English farmers/fishermen by the coast. Neither community exported the goods they produced for profit, nor did they have any imported goods at all as both communities relied on self-produced subsistence agriculture.[4][5][6] The original settlements were in the Euchee (Yuchi) Valley, near the landing on the Choctawhatchee River that was maintained by a mixed-race Yuchi named Sam Story, whose mother was Yuchi and father was an early Scots trader in the area. The white settlers founded one of the first Presbyterian churches in Northwest Florida. It is still an operating parish and has a historical cemetery.

When the Spanish regained control of Florida in 1783, roughly two-thirds of the British settlers in Pensacola left the colony to find permanent habitation elsewhere, including in the Bahamas and Bermuda, however none of the English or Scottish settlers in what has since become Walton County left with them. The Spanish came to regard the English and Scottish settlers in what has since become Walton County as "stubborn" and "ungovernable" as the Spanish were unable to make them obey Spanish law. They unanimously refused to convert to Catholicism, despite the fact that Spanish law said they were only allowed to remain in Florida if they did so and the Spanish were unable to compel them to pay taxes to the local Spanish government. As settlers from the newly created United States of America began migrating into north Florida the English and Scottish settlers in what has since become Walton County became gradually absorbed into this community, which would subsequently become the majority population in North Florida.[4][5][6][7]

Geography

Britton Hill, Florida's highest point at 345 feet (105 m), is located in northern Walton County
Britton Hill, Florida's highest point at 345 feet (105 m), is located in northern Walton County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,240 square miles (3,200 km2), of which 1,038 square miles (2,690 km2) is land and 202 square miles (520 km2) (16.3%) is water.[8] The county is one of the largest in area in the state, stretching from the Alabama state line to the Emerald Coast.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18301,207
18401,46121.0%
18501,81724.4%
18603,03767.1%
18703,0410.1%
18804,20138.1%
18904,81614.6%
19009,34694.1%
191016,46076.1%
192012,119−26.4%
193014,57620.3%
194014,246−2.3%
195014,7253.4%
196015,5765.8%
197016,0873.3%
198021,30032.4%
199027,76030.3%
200040,60146.3%
201055,04335.6%
202075,30536.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2015[13] 2019[14] 2020[1]
Walton County racial composition as of 2020
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Pop 2010[17] Pop 2020[18] % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 46,857 60,644 85.13% 80.53%
Black or African American (NH) 3,147 3,294 5.72% 4.37%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 463 415 0.84% 0.55%
Asian (NH) 491 907 0.89% 1.2%
Pacific Islander (NH) 37 38 0.07% 0.05%
Some Other Race (NH) 62 307 0.11% 0.41%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,065 3,513 1.93% 4.67%
Hispanic or Latino 2,921 6,187 5.31% 8.22%
Total 55,043 75,305 100.00% 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 75,305 people, 28,635 households, and 20,034 families residing in the county.

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 40,601 people, 16,548 households, and 11,120 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km2). There were 29,083 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.41% White, 6.98% Black or African American, 1.28% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 2.09% from two or more races. 2.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 16,548 households, out of which 26.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.80% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.70% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 105.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,407, and the median income for a family was $37,663. Males had a median income of $26,799 versus $21,208 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,198. About 11.60% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.00% of those under age 18 and 10.90% of those age 65 or over.

Government

County government

Position Name Party
  Commissioner, District 1 Boots McCormick Republican
  Commissioner, District 2 Danny Glidewell Republican
  Commissioner, District 3 Michael Barker Republican
  Commissioner, District 4 Trey Nick Republican
  Commissioner, District 5 Tony Anderson Republican

Politics

United States presidential election results for Walton County, Florida[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 32,947 75.23% 10,338 23.61% 510 1.16%
2016 25,756 75.98% 6,876 20.28% 1,266 3.73%
2012 21,490 75.19% 6,671 23.34% 421 1.47%
2008 19,561 72.08% 7,174 26.43% 404 1.49%
2004 17,555 73.22% 6,213 25.91% 208 0.87%
2000 12,186 66.51% 5,643 30.80% 494 2.70%
1996 7,709 49.68% 5,342 34.42% 2,467 15.90%
1992 5,726 42.25% 3,888 28.69% 3,940 29.07%
1988 7,490 69.30% 3,235 29.93% 83 0.77%
1984 7,126 74.01% 2,503 25.99% 0 0.00%
1980 4,694 50.28% 4,360 46.70% 282 3.02%
1976 2,927 35.35% 5,196 62.76% 156 1.88%
1972 6,217 85.93% 988 13.66% 30 0.41%
1968 963 13.45% 1,064 14.86% 5,135 71.70%
1964 3,753 60.51% 2,449 39.49% 0 0.00%
1960 1,484 28.95% 3,642 71.05% 0 0.00%
1956 1,606 33.24% 3,225 66.76% 0 0.00%
1952 1,502 29.48% 3,593 70.52% 0 0.00%
1948 652 17.16% 2,366 62.28% 781 20.56%
1944 689 21.15% 2,569 78.85% 0 0.00%
1940 694 17.74% 3,217 82.26% 0 0.00%
1936 510 15.51% 2,778 84.49% 0 0.00%
1932 305 10.96% 2,477 89.04% 0 0.00%
1928 1,475 61.36% 908 37.77% 21 0.87%
1924 220 18.77% 825 70.39% 127 10.84%
1920 619 30.66% 1,297 64.24% 103 5.10%
1916 549 37.14% 753 50.95% 176 11.91%
1912 74 7.01% 612 57.95% 370 35.04%
1908 369 37.96% 504 51.85% 99 10.19%
1904 322 42.65% 354 46.89% 79 10.46%


[21]

Libraries

Walton County has 4 branches, including the historic DeFuniak Springs Library.

Schools

The county is served by the Walton County School District.

Elementary schools

Middle schools

High schools

K–12

Charter schools

Communities

Walton County Courthouse, 2008
Walton County Courthouse, 2008

Cities

Town

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Gallery

Transportation

Airports

Highways

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

Notable people

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.[15][16]

References

  1. ^ a b 2020 Population and Housing State Data | Florida
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 34.
  4. ^ a b Fabel, Robin F. A. (1988). The Economy of British West Florida, 1763–1783. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press. p. 179. ISBN 0-8173-0312-X.
  5. ^ a b Born, John D. (1968). Governor Johnstone and trade in British West Florida, 1764–1767. Wichita, Kansas: Wichita State University. pp. 113, 115. OCLC 00455135.
  6. ^ a b Johnson, Cecil (1971). British West Florida, 1763–1783. Archon Books. pp. 99, 101–102.
  7. ^ McKinnon, John Love (1968) [1911]. History of Walton County (Reprint ed.). The Byrd Printing Co. pp. 85–89.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  13. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  14. ^ "QuickFacts. Florida counties". Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  15. ^ https://www.census.gov/[not specific enough to verify]
  16. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  17. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  18. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  19. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  21. ^ Reference: http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/datagraph.php?fips=12&year=1988&off=0&elect=0&f=0

Government links/Constitutional offices

Special districts

Judicial branch

Media links

Coordinates: 30°37′N 86°10′W / 30.61°N 86.17°W / 30.61; -86.17