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Hernando County, Florida
Hernando Cty Crths Brooksville02.jpg
Hernando County Courthouse
Seal of Hernando County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Hernando County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the U.S. highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded February 24, 1843
Named for Hernando de Soto
Seat Brooksville
Largest community Spring Hill
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

589 sq mi (1,526 km²)
473 sq mi (1,225 km²)
116 sq mi (300 km²), 19.8%
 - (2020)
 - Density

410/sq mi (158/km²)
Congressional district 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

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]


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.


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.

Adjacent counties[]

National protected area[]

  • Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge

State protected areas[]

Weeki Wachee Springs

Withlacoochee State Forest

Other points of interest[]

  • Croom Motorcycle Park
  • Bayport Park
  • Brooksville Railroad Depot Museum
  • Delta Woods Park
  • Weeki Wachee Preserve
  • Veterans Memorial Park
  • Tom Varn Park
  • Annutteliga Hammock


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 926
1860 1,200 29.6%
1870 2,938 144.8%
1880 4,248 44.6%
1890 2,476 −41.7%
1900 3,638 46.9%
1910 4,997 37.4%
1920 4,548 −9.0%
1930 4,948 8.8%
1940 5,641 14.0%
1950 6,693 18.6%
1960 11,205 67.4%
1970 17,004 51.8%
1980 44,469 161.5%
1990 101,115 127.4%
2000 130,802 29.4%
2010 172,778 32.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2020[1]

As of the census[14] 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.


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 (0.627 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:[15]
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)



  • Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport (ICAO: KBKV, FAA LID: BKV) serves southeastern Spring Hill, northern Masaryktown, and Garden Grove.

Mass transit[]

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


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, and the service was terminated in late 2004.[16] The other line is the Brooksville Subdivision, which runs close to US 41, and was previously owned by the Seaboard Air Line.

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[]

  • US 19.svg US 19 (Commercial Way) is a major commercial highway running parallel to the Gulf of Mexico on the western edge of the county, and used as a primary connecting route to cities on the west coast of Florida, including Hudson, New Port Richey, Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg, as well as Homosassa and Crystal River to the north.
  • US 41.svg US 41 (Broad Street) runs parallel to US 19 through points in the center of the county, including downtown Brooksville, where it intersects with SR 50 and US 98. It is still a primary connecting route with Tampa. Between Brooksville and Garden Grove, US 41 is a six-lane highway, and between Garden Grove and Masaryktown it is a four-lane highway. To the northeast, US 41 runs through part of the Withlacoochee State Forest. Plans are currently under way to widen US 41 throughout Hernando County.
  • US 98.svg US 98 (Ponce de Leon Boulevard) runs diagonally across the county from the northwest to the southeast, where it exits into Pasco County, and runs concurrent with SR 50 in the eastern part of the county, intersects I-75 in Ridge Manor West and meets the Suncoast Parkway at the parkway's current end near World Woods Golf Course north of Brooksville.
  • US 301.svg US 301 (Treiman Boulevard) is a north–south highway that crosses into the county briefly at its tapered eastern end, running parallel to I-75, and intersecting with SR 50 at Ridge Manor.
  • I-75.svg Interstate 75 runs north and south across the eastern part of the county, with one exit (Exit 301) at its intersection with US 98/SR 50. Once a major connecting point with Tampa, I-75 has been made obsolete for western residents of the county by the Suncoast Parkway.
  • Toll Florida 589.svg Suncoast Parkway (SR 589) enters the county in the south slightly to the west of US 41, and ends in the far northern part of the county at US 98. (N.B. the Suncoast Parkway is considered incomplete; there are plans for it to extend through northern Hernando County and through adjacent Citrus County and head into Crystal River.) The Suncoast Parkway is a toll road that connects Hernando County with Hillsborough County, where it becomes the Veterans Expressway and heads directly into Tampa International Airport before reaching Interstate 275. SR 589 has four Hernando County exits: County Line Road (Exit 37), Spring Hill Drive (Exit 41), SR 50 (Exit 46), and US 98 (Future Exit 54).
  • Florida 50.svg SR 50 (Cortez Boulevard) begins at US 19 in Weeki Wachee, runs through Brooksville, and exits into Sumter County at the eastern tip of the county. Along the way, it interchanges with the Suncoast Parkway, intersects with US 41 in Brooksville, runs concurrently with US 98, and intersects with I-75 in Ridge Manor West(Hernando County's only interchange with I-75) and US 301 in Ridge Manor. A significant, well-developed highway in the county, SR 50 originally extended from US 19 to the Gulf Coast at Bayport. This section was given back to the county and is currently CR 550. Currently, S.R. 50 is used as a beeline route from the county to Orlando in the east.
  • Alt plate.svg
    Florida 50.svg SR 50 Alternate (Jefferson Street) is a spur of SR 50 that runs through downtown Brooksville, running concurrently with both US 41 and US 98 at points.
  • Hernando County 574.svg Spring Hill Drive (CR 574) is a major county road running roughly parallel to both SR 50 and the border with Pasco County beginning by US 19, intersects the Suncoast Parkway, and ends at US 41.
  • Hernando County 578.svg County Line Road (CR 578) is a major county road running entirely along the border with Pasco County beginning at US 19, intersects the Suncoast Parkway, and ends at US 41. Due to increased congestion, it is planned to be upgraded from two to four lanes, and possibly upgraded from a county road to a state road.


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

Presidential Elections[]

United States presidential election results for Hernando County, Florida[17]
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.[18] Specific duties of the county Commissioners are outlined in Chapter 125, Florida Statutes.

Map of the five county commission districts

District 1[]
District 1 Elected Officials
Year Commissioner Party Term
2018 John Mitten REP June 2018 - 2020[19]
2016 Nick Nicholson REP 2016 - June 2018[19]
2012 Nick Nicholson REP 2012 - 2016
2008 Jeff Stabins REP 2008 - 2012
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 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 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 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

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[20] Shirley Anderson REP 2016-2020
2012[21] Shirley Anderson REP 2012-2016
2008[22] Annie D Williams DEM 2008-2012
Property Appraiser[]
Year Officer Party Term
2016 John Emerson REP 2016-2020
2012 John Emerson REP 2012-2016
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[25] 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.[26]

Law Enforcement Agencies[]

  • (Defunct) Brooksville Police Department (Disbanded 6/1/18)[27]
  • Hernando County Sheriff's Office
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • FWC Division of Law Enforcement (State Game Wardens)
  • Florida Highway Patrol


  • Brooksville Regional Hospital
  • HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Spring Hill
  • Oak Hill Hospital
  • Spring Hill Regional Hospital
  • Springbrook Hospital


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:

  • Main Library/Brooksville Branch
  • East Hernando Branch
  • West Hernando Branch
  • Spring Hill Branch



  • Brooksville

Census-designated places[]

  • Aripeka
  • Bayport
  • Brookridge
  • Garden Grove
  • Hernando Beach
  • High Point
  • Hill 'n Dale
  • Istachatta
  • Lake Lindsey
  • Masaryktown
  • Nobleton
  • North Brooksville
  • North Weeki Wachee
  • Pine Island
  • Ridge Manor
  • South Brooksville
  • Spring Hill
  • Spring Lake
  • Timber Pines
  • Weeki Wachee Gardens
  • Wiscon

Other unincorporated communities[]

  • Rolling Acres
  • Royal Highlands

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Hernando County, Florida


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. 
  3. ^ Christie, Les (March 15, 2006). "100 Fastest Growing Counties". CNN. 
  4. ^ "About". City of Brooksville. 
  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". 
  7. ^ "Brooksville raid re-enactment to be held today". St. Petersburg Times ( January 15, 2011. 
  8. ^ Cotter, Holland (2018-06-01). "A Memorial to the Lingering Horror of Lynching" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. 
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. 
  15. ^ Her Chamber
  16. ^ "St. Petersburg Times". Loss of Amtrak service shouldn't derail Dade City. 
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". 
  18. ^ "Board of County Commissioners | Hernando County, FL". 
  19. ^ a b "Woman who says she exchanged sex for rent with Hernando commissioner describes political alliances" (in en). 
  20. ^ a b c d "ElectionSummaryReport". 
  23. ^ a b "Official Election Summary Report". 
  25. ^ "Governor appoints Alvin Nienhuis as Hernando County Sheriff" (in en-US). 
  26. ^ "County pulls plug on Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department" (in en-us). 
  27. ^ "City Council disbands Brooksville Police Department". 2018-05-01. 

External links[]

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

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hernando County, Florida. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.