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Happy Birthday DeSoto County!


DeSoto County, Florida’s 42nd county was created by the Florida legislature on May 19th 1887. It was named for Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto who landed in present-day Tampa Bay in 1539 and embarked on an extensive journey throughout the southeastern United States until his death on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1542. The earliest settlement in DeSoto County was Fort Ogden built in 1841 during the Second Seminole War, and a small community grew around the original fort site. When it was first created, DeSoto County comprised present-day Charlotte, Glades, Highlands and Hardee Counties. The county seat and largest city is Arcadia.