Date in History:
1834 – Hillsborough County, Florida’s 18th county, was created on this date by carving out part of Alachua and Monroe Counties. Situated on Florida’s central west coast, it was named after Wills Hill, also known as the Earl of Hillsborough, who served as the British Secretary of State for the American Colonies from 1768-1772, which included the Florida colonies. Early Native American communities occupied the land around Tampa Bay for centuries, and in the 16th century, Spanish explorers visited the area, most notably Hernando de Soto in 1559. Later, in the 19th century during the Seminole Wars, the U.S. government set up Fort Brooke at the mouth of the Hillsborough River. The population of Hillsborough County slowly grew through the 19th century with the establishment and growth of industries such as phosphate and cigar manufacturing. Today, Hillsborough County is the 4th most populous county in Florida with over 1.2 million residents, many of whom live within the county seat and largest city, Tampa.