History Highlands County, Florida

Highlands County History

For the same reason other counties had been dividing for 100 years, so it was with old DeSoto County. Florida was booming, new areas were developing, and new communities were springing up in areas that just a few years earlier were wilderness. Roads were scarce, automobiles were coming into use, and the old wagon trails were inadequate for these machines.

In 1920 the talk of division of old DeSoto County was front and center in local politics. Dr. E.J. Etheredge, a well-respected dentist from DeSoto City was persuaded to run for the State House of Representatives and Francis M. Cooper, who had been the Tax Collector of DeSoto County and had served one term as a State Senator, was chosen to run again for the State Senate. Both men were in favor of county division. After a hard-fought campaign, the voters went to the polls and elected both men to go to Tallahassee. A bill was sighed on April 23 creating four new counties from old DeSoto County.




"Dedicated to the preservation of historical and cultural heritage of Highlands County"