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Welcome to Hernando County
 
 
County Information
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
As of 2000, the population was 130,802. The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimate for the county is 165,409. Its county seat is Brooksville, Florida. Majority of the county's population is in Spring Hill, west portion of Hernando County. Hernando, along with Pasco, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties, comprise the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Cities in Hernando County include Brookridge, Brooksville, Hernando Beach, High Point, Masaryktown, North Brooksville, Ridge Manor, South Brooksville, Spring Hill, Timber Pines, Weeki Wachee, Weeki Wachee Acres and Weeki Wachee Gardens.

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  County Demographics  
 
 
     
 
 
  As of the census 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. There were 62,727 housing units at an average density of 51/sq mi. 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 the population was spread out with 18.90% under the age of 18, 5.40% from 18 to 24, 20.40% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 30.90% who 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.
 
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
 
  County History  
 
 
     
 
 
  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. When settlement by the fort began around 1845, it was alternatively known as Pierceville.

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.

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 servicing the county until September 29, 1877, when it was destroyed in a fire.

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) 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.

On January 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.

 

 
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
     
     
 
 
 

 

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