Leon County, Florida
|Leon County, Florida|
Leon County Courthouse
Location in the state of Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
|Founded||December 29, 1824|
|Named for||Juan Ponce de León|
|• Total||702 sq mi (1,818 km2)|
|• Land||667 sq mi (1,728 km2)|
|• Water||35 sq mi (91 km2), 5.0%|
|• Density||413/sq mi (159.51/km²)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Leon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 275,487. The county seat is Tallahassee, which also serves as the state capital. The county is named after the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León.
Leon County is included in the Tallahassee, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. Tallahassee is home to two of Florida's major public universities, Florida A&M University and Florida State University. Leon County residents have the highest average level of education among Florida's 67 counties.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Transportation
- 4 Geology
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Accolades
- 7 Politics
- 8 Public safety
- 9 Education
- 10 Points of interest
- 11 Paleontology
- 12 Communities
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Originally part of Escambia and later Gadsden County, Leon County was created in 1824. It was named for Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish explorer who was the first European to reach Florida. During the 1850s - 1860s, Leon County was a "cotton kingdom" and ranked 5th out of all of Florida and Georgia counties in the production of cotton from the 20 major plantations. Unlike all other Confederate capitols in the American Civil War, Tallahassee was never captured by the Union forces, and no Union Soldiers set foot in Leon County until Reconstruction.
- Also see Plantations of Leon County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 702 square miles (1,820 km2), of which 667 square miles (1,730 km2) is land and 35 square miles (91 km2) (5.0%) is water. Unlike much of Florida, most of Leon County has rolling hills, part of north Florida's Red Hills region. The highest point is 280 feet (85 m) located in the north part of the county.
National protected area
- Apalachicola National Forest (part)
Bodies of water
- Lake Miccosukee
- Black Creek
- Lake Bradford
- Lake Ella
- Lake Hall
- Lake Iamonia
- Lake Jackson
- Lake Lafayette
- Lake Talquin
- Ochlockonee River
- Grady County, Georgia - north
- Thomas County, Georgia - northeast
- Jefferson County, Florida - east
- Wakulla County, Florida - south
- Gadsden County, Florida - west
- Liberty County, Florida - west
- Interstate 10
- U.S. Highway 27 (Apalachee Parkway; Monroe Street)
- U.S. Highway 90 (Tennessee Street; Mahan Drive)
- U.S. Highway 319 (Capital Circle; Thomasville Road)
- State Road 20
- State Road 61
- State Road 155
- State Road 263
- State Road 267
- State Road 363
Leon County sits atop basement rock composed of basalts of the Triassic and Jurassic from ~251—145 million years ago interlayered with Mesozoic sedimentary rocks. The layers above the basement are carbonate rock created from dying foraminifera, bryozoa, mollusks, and corals from as early as the Paleocene, a period of ~66—55.8 Ma.
During the Eocene (~55.8—33.9 Ma) and Oligocene (~33.9—23 Ma), the Appalachian Mountains began to uplift and the erosion rate increased enough to fill the Gulf Trough with quartz sands, silts, and clays via rivers and streams. The first sedimentation layer in Leon County is the Oligocene Suwannee Limestone in the southeastern part of the county as stated by the United States Geological Survey and Florida Geological Survey.
Terraces and shorelines
During the Pleistocene, what would be Leon County emerged and submerged with each glacial and interglacial period. Interglacials created the topography of Leon as it is known now.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2010, there were 275,487 people, and 108,592 households residing in the county. The population density was 413.2 people per square mile (159.5/km²). There were 123,423 housing units at an average density of 185 per square mile (71.4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 63.0% White, 30.3% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 2.2% from two or more races. 5.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 108,592 households out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.9% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.8% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the county the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 26.3% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.8 years. For every 100 females there were 91.57 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.03 males.
The adult citizens of Leon County enjoy the highest level of education in the state of Florida followed by Alachua County with a total of 67.8%.
|Level of Education|
|Some college or Associate Degree||28.5%||28.8%||27.4%|
|Master's or Ph. D.||17.7%||8.1%||8.9%|
Source of above: 
The median income for a household in the county was $37,517, and the median income for a family was $52,962. Males had a median income of $35,235 versus $28,110 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,024. About 9.40% of families and 18.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.20% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.
- 2007 National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials' Environmental and Conservation Award for exceptional effort to reclaim, restore, preserve, acquire or develop unique and natural areas. Leon County has 1,300 acres (5.3 km2) of open space, forest and woodlands between the Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway and J.R. Alford Greenway.
Leon County is a traditional blue county and has usually voted Democratic. This is likely due to Florida State University and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, as well as the concentration of government employees in the capital city. The county has voted Democratic throughout its history.
- On December 31, 2007 there were 85,546 Democrats and 42,744 Republicans. Other affiliations accounted for 22,284 voters.
- On March 1, 2009 there were 103,334 Democrats and 48,507 Republicans. Other affiliations accounted for 28,191 voters.
- As of September 8, 2014 there were 100,655 Democrats and 51,444 Republicans. Other affiliations accounted for 36,575 voters.
In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Leon County supported Barack Obama by a 24.2% margin over John McCain, with Florida supporting Obama by a 2.8% margin over McCain. Ralph Nader received 0.33% of the vote.
Leon County has had the highest voter turnout of all counties in Florida. For the 2008 general election, Leon County had a record setting early voting and vote by mail with a voter turnout of 85%.
|Leon County Government|
|Commissioner||Mary Ann Lindley||Democratic|
|Elections Supervisor||Ion Sancho||NPA|
|Tax Collector||Doris Maloy||Democratic|
|Property Appraiser||Bert Hartsfield||Democratic|
|Court Clerk||Bob Inzer||Democratic|
|School Superintendent||Jackie Pons||Democratic|
|Soil and Water Supervisor 1||Blas Gomez||Non Partisan|
Consolidation with Tallahassee
Voters of Leon County have gone to the polls four times to vote on consolidation of Tallahassee and Leon County governments into one jurisdiction combining police and other city services with already shared (consolidated) Tallahassee Fire Department, Tallahassee/Leon County Planning Department, and Leon County Emergency Medical Services. Tallahassee's city limits would (at current size) increase from 98.2 square miles (254 km2) to 702 square miles (1,820 km2). Roughly 36 percent of Leon County's 250,000 residents live outside the Tallahassee city limits.
|Leon County Voting On Consolidation|
|1968||10,381 (41.32%)||14,740 (58.68%)|
|1973||11,056 (46.23%)||12,859 (53.77%)|
|1976||20,336 (45.01%)||24,855 (54.99%)|
|1992||37,062 (39.8%)||56,070 (60.2%)|
The proponents of consolidation have stated that the new jurisdiction would attract business by its very size. Merging of governments would cut government waste, duplication of services, etc. However Professor Richard Feiock states that no discernible relationship exists between consolidation and the local economy.
U.S. Congressional representatives
Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D), District 9, represents the northern half of Leon County including most of Tallahassee. Rep. Marti Coley (R), District 7, represents the southern portion of the county. Rep. Alan Williams (D), District 8, also represents a west-central portion of the county.
The law enforcement agency charged with countywide policing is the Leon County Sheriff's Office. Fire and Emergency medical services provided by the Tallahassee Fire Department and Leon County Emergency Medical Services respectively.
Public schools in Leon County are administered and under the operation of the Leon County School District. LCS is operated by a superintendent, 5 board members, and 1 Student Representative. There are:
- 25 Elementary Schools
- 10 Middle Schools
- 7 High Schools
- 8 Special / Alternative Schools
- 2 Charter Schools
Newsweek Magazine's "The Top of the Class" (1300 schools) for 2008 lists 4 out of 5 Leon County's 5 public high schools in the top 400 in the United States.
- Amos P. Godby High School - website
- Atlantis Academy
- Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University High School
- Florida State University High School
- James S. Rickards High School Newsweek ranking: # 70
- John Paul II Catholic High School - website
- Lawton Chiles High School Newsweek ranking # 308
- Leon High School Newsweek ranking: # 217
- Lively Technical Center
- Lincoln High School Newsweek ranking: # 80
- Maclay School - website
- North Florida Christian High School - website
- SAIL High School - website
Leon County has 7 branches that serve the area.
- Collins Main Library
- Northeast Branch Library
- Eastside Branch Library
- Dr. B.L. Perry, Jr. Branch Library
- Lake Jackson Branch Library
- Woodville Branch Library
- Fort Braden Branch Library
The official name of the library system is the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library. The name was changed on September 17, 1993 from the original name of the Leon County Public Library in honor of LeRoy Collins, the 33rd Governor of Florida.
Points of interest
- Alfred P. Maclay Gardens State Park
- Apalachicola National Forest
- Birdsong Nature Center
- Bradley's Country Store Complex
- Florida State Capitol
- Florida Supreme Court
- Florida State Archives
- Florida Vietnam War Memorial
- Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park
- Leon County Fairgrounds
- Leon County's 5 canopy roads
- Mission San Luis de Apalachee
- Museum of Florida History
- Old Fort Park
- Tall Timbers Research Station
- Tallahassee Antique Car Museum
- Tallahassee Museum
- Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad Trail State Park
Three sites within Leon County have yielded fossil remnants of the Miocene epoch. The article Leon County, Florida paleontological sites includes the Griscom Plantation Site, Seaboard Air Line Railroad Site, and Tallahassee Waterworks Site with fossils by genus and species.
- Bond-South City, a former census-designated place enumerated by the United States Census Bureau in 1950 & 1960.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- 2000 U.S. Census at EPodunk.com - An examination of all Florida counties
- Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 32.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 185.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Geology of Florida, University of Florida
- USGS Publications, Florida
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- Leon County Supervisor of Elections updated registered voter counter
- Leon County Supervisor of Elections Active Registered Voters
- U.S. Election Atlas
- Leon County Supervisor of Elections graphic
- "Governor Thomas LeRoy Collins". LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- Bloxham, Florida. Google Maps. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leon County, Florida.|
- Leon County Government / Board of County Commissioners
- Leon County Clerk of Courts
- Leon County Property Appraiser
- Leon County Sheriff's Office
- Leon County Supervisor of Elections
- Leon County Tax Collector
- Leon County Public Schools
- The Ochlockonee River Soil and Water Conservation District
- Northwest Florida Water Management District
- Leon County Clerk of Courts
- Public Defender, 2nd Judicial Circuit of Florida serving Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties
- Office of the State Attorney, 2nd Judicial Circuit of Florida
- Circuit and County Court, 2nd Judicial Circuit of Florida
||Grady County, Georgia||Thomas County, Georgia|
|Gadsden County and Liberty County||Jefferson County|