History of Calhoun County

History of Calhoun County


In 1837, Peter Gautier Jr., editor of the St. Joseph Times, attempted to move the county seat of Franklin county from Apalachicola to St. Joseph. He was unsuccessful, but, the following year he obtained the creation of a new county from part of Franklin and Jackson counties, with St. Joseph as the county seat. The new county was named Calhoun for John C. Calhoun of South Carolina.
In 1838 the first constitutional convention was held at St. Joseph. An epidemic of yellow fever wiped out the greater part of the population in 1841. The destruction of the town was completed by a hurricane and tidal wave in 1843. St. Joseph, before this date, was one of the leading cities of Florida. At the election in 1839 St. Joseph polled the second largest vote in the territory, being exceeded only by Tallahassee. In 1845 it polled only 67 votes.
The "St. Joseph Telegraph" established in 1836 was one of the states [sic] earliest newspapers and was among the leading journals of the state. The name was changed a few months later to the "St. Joseph Times". This paper suspended publication in the summer of 1841, but a month or so later it was revived and two or three issues were brought out. It then ceased publication for good, and nothing has ever been printed in St. Joseph or Port St. Joe since. So far as is known but one book or pamphlet was printed there; the Journal of the Constitutional Convention, including the Constitution as framed by the Convention and printed in 1839.
The first settlement in the territory now comprising Calhoun county was called Chipola and was located in the river of that name. This settlement


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


Brief history of Calhoun 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.