History of Martin County, Florida

History of Martin County, Florida


Ralph Hammond, District Supervisor
Historical Records & State Archives Surveys
November 26, 1936
This county was created by the Legislature at its 1925 session and was taken from the northern portion of Palm Beach County and a small part of St. Lucie County. Most of the area of this county lies within the Okeechobee Drainage District, and it is bounded on the west by Lake Okeechobee and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. The area of the county is 354,813 acres, and it has 15,995 acres in farms and 1,760 acres in actual cultivation. Mineral resources of the county include marl and peat. The present population is 5,214.
Though one of the youngest counties in the state, Martin County has made noticeable progress in several respects, and its climatic advantages location with reference to transportation by land and water, and natural resources are doing much to bring it to the forefront in this section of Florida. Agriculture in Martin County has decreased on the East Coast but since the Seaboard has gone through the western part of the county truck farming has increased, the soil being more fertile in that section of the county, and farmers are able to market their products. There are several large dairy farms, also considerable poultry and hog raising.
The Seaboard Air Line Railway and the Florida East Coast Railway serve this county with a trackage of over seventy-five miles, and there are about two hundred and fifty miles of hard-surfaced highway and one hundred and twenty-five miles of improved road which is not hard-surfaced. There are also facilities for water transportation by way of the St. Lucie River. The St. Lucie Inlet is now being deepened, and further work is planned on the St. Lucie Canal also.
The principal activities of this section have their centre in the location that later became the town of Stuart. Originally this settlement was known by the name Pottsdam. The change of name to its present designation of Stuart, forms an interesting story hereinafter related.
The first City Council was formed in the year of 1914. Stuart was then divided into five wards. The first members of the Council were:
J. R. Pomeroy, President in 1914.
John Boggan, President in 1916.
Other members of the City Council were C. E. Schroeder, George W. Parks and Sam Matthews.
Mr. Boggan served on the council for about three years along with other old timers, several of whom are still living in Stuart.


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


Brief history of Martin 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.