History of Union County

History of Union County


WPA Histories—Union Co.

Mary Johnson


In 1821 St. Johns County was established of which Union County was then a part: in 1824 Alachua County was created from St. Johns, which included Union County; in 1832 Columbia County was created from Alachua, which embraced Union County. Union County remained a part of Columbia until 1858, when New River and Suwannee were created from part of Columbia: New River County included what is now Union, Bradford and Baker; in 1861 Baker was created from New River and remaining portion of New River was changed to Bradford, which included the present Bradford and Union Counties. At the session of the legislature in 1921, Union County was created from a part of Bradford and declared to begin to exist as a County on Oct. 1 - 1921; the name was obtained from the common word meaning Unity. The parent Counties have been St. Johns, Alachua, Columbia, New River and Bradford.

First officers of the County were, S. T. Dowling, Clerk of Circuit Court, A. C. Strickland, County Judge, W. S. Brannen, Sheriff, O. L Mizelle, Sup't of Schools, P. M Padgett, Tax Assessor, G. C. Driggers, Tax Collector, G. A. Epperson, Supervisor Registration.

The County has an area of 155,000 acres; a population according to census of 1935 of 5,428; real estate valued at $3,250,000.

Offices were rented for a while but in 1922, a corrugated iron and wooden building was constructed for a court house, and in 1936 a $38000.00 brick court house was built through a WPA project.

The principal industries of the County are farming, stockraising and naval stores industry. About 49.6% of the land is under cultivation; corn, peanuts, sugar cane, cotton, tobacco and early vegetables are the principal crops. The acreage of cotton and tobacco is on the increase. The soil is especially adapted to the growing of Sea Island Cotton. Pasturage in the county in fine and live stock thrives.


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


Brief history of Union 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.