Alachua County History

Alachua County History


Alachua County was created from the area of St. Johns and Duval Counties, December 29, 1824, being originally bounded on the north by Georgia; on the east by Duval, St. Johns and Mosquito Counties, by the Indian Reservation, and a part of Monroe County; on the south by Monroe County and Charlotte Harbor, and on the west by the Gulf of Mexico and the Suwannee River. From the great area once possessed it is now reduced to 579,840 acres. 
The first white settler to locate and remain was Edward M. Wanton, who with the consent of the Indians, moved from Picolata, when he and Horatio S. Dexter acted as agents for Fernando de la Maza Arredondo, a merchant of Havana, who had obtained a grant of 289,000 acres.
Moses E. Levy became associated with, and took an active part in the development of this land. A company was organized and opened offices in New York for the purposes of colonization, Arredondo’s concession being on condition that he settle 200 families in four years.
Francis P. Sanchez, a cattleman and planter on the Santa Fe river, contracted to haul supplies in for the Arredondo Alachua store in 1822, and in 1823 a 45 mile road was built for wheeled vehicles, to a point opposite Picolata, where warehouses were built to receive freight and passengers from the steamers. Three well set-up settlements were established on this road. 
Levy acquired 20,000 acres north of Micanopy. Frederick S.


State Library of Florida, WPA - Historical Records Survey, County Histories


Brief history of Alachua County, Florida collected by the Works Progress Administration's Historical Records Survey.

Note to Researchers: Though the WPA field workers included extensive citations for the factual information contained in these county histories, it should be noted that these historical narratives were produced in the 1930s by federal government employees, and might reflect the inherent social biases of the era.