About Polk County
The Florida Legislature got it right in 1861 when it carved out a swath of scrub land that encompassed then-Eastern Hillsborough and Western Brevard counties.
With a roll call of votes and the signing of a bill, Polk County was created – just months before the nation plunged into the Civil War.
In those days, Polk’s population barely topped 3,000 residents. The railroad, citrus, cattle and phosphate industries hadn’t taken root. And roads were little more than a dirt path cut through thick brush.
Officially dubbed Polk County Feb. 8, 1861, it became the state’s 39th county with the passage of Chapter 1201 of the 1861 Florida Statutes.
More than 150 years have passed since those early days, and times have certainly changed. Here is a snapshot of today’s Polk County: