Volusia County

Volusia County

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VOLUSIA COUNTY

From 1821 until December 29, 1824, the section embraced in the present limits of Volusia County was a part of St. Johns County. On this latter date Mosquito County was created with its northern boundary just below Mantanzas Inlet and its southern at Jupiter Inlet. Its southern half was approximately 20 miles wide, increasing to about 60 miles in its northern half.
This name was changed to Orange on January 30, 1845, and finally, on December 29, 1854, a part of Orange became Volusia County. On January 29, 1835, New Smyrna was made the County seat but it was not until 1843 that the Clerk of the Court of St. Johns, under orders from the Territorial Council, turned the records over to the officers at New Smyrna.
This was possibly mostly due to the Seven Years’ Indian War which ravaged the country. On February 24, 1843, the County seat was moved from New Smyrna to Enterprise, and on July 16, 1845, it was again changed to Mellonville approximating the present location of Sanford. Fire destroyed the records at Mellonville about 1849.
When Volusia County was created out of Orange, Enterprise became the County seat. The population was then given as 140. In 1888 the County seat was removed to DeLand where it has since remained.
The area embraced in the present limits of the County has been the setting of numerous epochs in the drama of the development of the most southern State of the Union. Its first mention of geographical interest by Ponce de Leon was in his narrative of his repulse of Indians in 1513 at “Rio de la Cruz.”
Later Hernando Manrique de Rojas touched at Rio de la Cruz, in 29° North latitude. He sailed from Havana in May, 1564, his mission being to meet and destroy Ribault’s fleet. This latitude approximates the mouth of Ponce de Leon (Mosquito) Inlet, and the three waterways, Halifax, Hillsborough rivers and the Inlet and Spruce Creek, make the cross (la Cruz), which might signify the name and fix the place quite definitely.
On September 12, 1565, three of Ribault’s ships were wrecked at a point recorded as between 20 and 25 leagues south of St. Augustine, which, according to the measurements then in vogue fixes it as between the present towns of Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach.
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Source

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

Description

Brief history of Volusia 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.