Martin County, Florida

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Martin County, Florida
Stuart FL new crths01.jpg
Martin County Courthouse
Seal of Martin County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Martin County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded May 30, 1925
Named for John W. Martin
Seat Stuart
Largest city Palm City
 • Total 752.79 sq mi (1,950 km2)
 • Land 555.62 sq mi (1,439 km2)
 • Water 197.18 sq mi (511 km2), 26.19%
 • (2010) 146,318
 • Density 263/sq mi (101.68/km²)
Congressional district 18th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Martin County is a county located in the Treasure Coast region in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 146,318.[1] Its county seat is Stuart.[2]


Martin County was created in 1925 with the northern portion coming from St. Lucie County and southern portion coming from Palm Beach County. It was named for John W. Martin, Governor of Florida from 1925 to 1929.

When the county was created, the western contour followed the shore of Lake Okeechobee, as did the borders of Glades, Okeechobee, and Hendry counties. Palm Beach County had historically claimed all of the surface of the lake as part of its area, to its benefit for the distribution of state and federal highway funds. The state representative of Martin County, William Ralph Scott of Stuart, initiated a bill to divide the lake among its adjacent counties, creating a more equitable distribution of state funds for road creation and maintenance. All bordering counties confirmed the justice of this change and supported its ratification, with the exception of Palm Beach County. Representatives from Palm Beach County later presented Representative William Scott with a jug of water, signifying "all the water Bill Scott left Palm Beach County." The jug is in the possession of Stuart Heritage.

The unusual feature of the point of the meeting of five counties in the largest freshwater body of water in the South may be the only one of its kind.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 752.79 square miles (1,949.7 km2), of which 555.62 square miles (1,439.0 km2) (or 73.81%) is land and 197.18 square miles (510.7 km2) (or 26.19%) is water, much of it in the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Okeechobee.[3]

Martin County is part of the Port St. Lucie Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 5,111
1940 6,295 23.2%
1950 7,807 24.0%
1960 16,932 116.9%
1970 28,035 65.6%
1980 64,014 128.3%
1990 100,900 57.6%
2000 126,731 25.6%
2010 146,318 15.5%
Est. 2012 148,817 1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
2012 Estimate[5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 126,731 people, 55,288 households, and 36,213 families residing in the county. The population density was 228 per square mile (88 /km2). There were 65,471 housing units at an average density of 118 per square mile (46 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.88% White, 5.27% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 2.72% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 7.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2000 there were 55,288 households out of which 21.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.00% were married couples living together, 7.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.50% were non-families. 29.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.71.

In the county the population was spread out with 18.60% under the age of 18, 5.30% from 18 to 24, 22.90% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 28.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,083, and the median income for a family was $53,244. Males had a median income of $36,133 versus $27,000 for females. The per capita income for the county was $29,584. About 5.60% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.80% of those under age 18 and 5.20% of those age 65 or over.


Martin County is a non-chartered county and its form of government is prescribed by the Florida Constitution and Florida Statutes, as follows:

Board of County Commissioners[edit]

Tabebuia off Savanna Road in Jensen Beach. April 2010. Typical of such trees blooming throughout Martin county in the spring

The Board of County Commissioners is the legislative body of the county and has charge of all county executive and administrative functions, except those assigned by the Constitution to independent county officers or to the independent school district. The board also has some quasi-judicial functions. Some of functions exercised by the board are county-wide, while others are applicable only in the unincorporated areas of the county, where the board has many of the functions of a municipality. The county commissioners are elected by county-wide vote, but each one represents a specific district. The board appoints the county administrator who is responsible to it for the day-to-day operations of the county government. The current county commissioners by district number are:

  • 1. Doug Smith
  • 2. Ed Fielding, Vice Chair
  • 3. Anne Scott
  • 4. Sarah Heard, Chair
  • 5. John Haddox

Constitutional Officers[edit]

The elected Constitutional Officers are:

  • Clerk (Clerk of Courts, County Clerk, etc.): Carolyn Timmann
  • Property Appraiser: Laurel Kelly
  • Sheriff: William Snyder
  • Supervisor of Elections: Vicki Davis
  • Tax Collector: Ruth Pietruszewski

School District[edit]

The independent Martin County School District has an elected Superintendent of Schools and elected School Board, as follows:

  • The Superintendent, Laurie Gaylord (R), is the chief administrator of the district.
  • The School Board is the legislative body of the district and also exercises quasi-judicial powers. School Board members are elected county wide but each one represents a specific district. The current board members by district are:
    • 1. Michael Busha, Co-chair
    • 2. Marsha Powers
    • 3. Rebecca Negron
    • 4. Maura Barry-Sorenson, Chair
    • 5. Michael DiTerlizzi

Cities, towns and other places[edit]

Downtown Stuart, in the heart of the county seat


  1. Town of Jupiter Island
  2. Town of Ocean Breeze
  3. Town of Sewall's Point
  4. City of Stuart


Sunset from the intracoastal waterway at Hobe Sound


The Martin County Library System has 7 branches.

Location Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Blake Library 10:00-8:00 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 10:00-8:00 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 Closed
Elizabeth Lahti Library Closed 10:00-5:30 12:00-8:00 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 Closed
Hobe Sound Public Library Closed 12:00-8:00 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 Closed
Hoke Library Closed 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 12:00-8:00 10:00-5:30 Closed
Peter & Julie Cummings Library Closed 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 12:00-8:00 10:00-5:30 Closed
Robert Morgade Library 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 12:00-8:00 12:00-8:00 10:00-5:30 10:00-5:30 Closed
Law Library 9:00-1:30 9:00-1:30 9:00-1:30 9:00-1:30 Closed Closed Closed


Florida panther at Possum Long, September, 1992

Historic areas[edit]

On the National Register of Historic Places:

Other historic areas listed in 1989 by the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects:[8]

  • All Saints Episcopal Church, Waveland, 2377 N.E. Patrician Street, 1898,
  • Bay Tree Lodge (Kiplinger House), 143 S. River Road (originally 104 S. Sewall's Point Road), Sewall's Point, 1909
  • Dudley-Bessey House, 110 S.W. Atlanta Avenue, Stuart, 1909
  • Dyer Homestead, 1006 S.W. St. Lucie Crescent, Stuart, 1904
  • Feroe Building, 73 S.W. Flagler Avenue, corner of St. Lucie, Stuart, 1913
  • France Apartments, 524 St. Lucie Crescent, Stuart, 1927
  • Golden Gate Building, 3225 S.E. Dixie Highway in Golden Gate south of Stuart, 1925
  • Kitching House, 210 S.W. Atlanta Avenue, Stuart, 1894
  • Stuart Feed Store, 101 S.W. Flagler Avenue, Stuart, 1905
  • Sunrise Inn, S.E. Old St. Lucie Boulevard, Port Sewall. ca. 1925 (demolished)
  • John E. Taylor House, 204 S.E. Atlanta Avenue, Stuart, 1914

Other places listed in 2012 by the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in its Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Audubon of Martin County: Possum Long Nature Center
  8. ^ A Guide to Florida's Historic Architecture, 1989, Gainesville: University of Florida Press, p. 137, ISBN 0-8130-0941-3
  9. ^ Current standings: Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places

External links[edit]



Coordinates: 27°05′N 80°24′W / 27.08°N 80.40°W / 27.08; -80.40