DeSoto County was created in 1887 and named after famed Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.
During World War II, Desoto County operated the Carlstrom Field Air Base. The base provided training for both American and British pilots. During a training exercise, 23 British pilots were tragically killed. The pilots were honored at the DeSoto County’s Oak Ridge Cemetary in the city of Arcadia.
DeSoto County along with Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, and Okeechobee Counties make up what is known as the “Florida Heartland”.
This area derives its name due to the region being primarily a rural area. The primary economic make up of this region is agriculture. Products such as tomatoes, beef, sugarcane, cucumbers and citrus products come extensively from these six counties.
DeSoto County is widely known for the number, and quality of recreational opportunities it provides the residents of the county. The Peace River runs through the county and provides many opportunities for camping, fishing, canoeing, rafting, and other water/wilderness type activities.
DeSoto County is home to a large, modern satellite campus of South Florida Community College.
With rodeos, county fairs, livestock shows, canoeing, nature trails and antiquing, DeSoto County offers a fresh, wholesome alternative to the large urban centers.
Municipalities & Other Areas in Desoto County
DeSoto County Demographics
According to the 2010 census report, the population of Desoto County is 34,862 people, an increase of 8.2% since 2000. There are 14,590 total homes with 8,237 occupied by owner.
The racial makeup of Desoto County in 2010 was;
- 66.2% Non-Hispanic White
- 12.7% African-American
- 29.9% Hispanic
- .4% American Indian
- .5% Asian
- 2.4% reporting two or more races
DeSoto County Government
DeSoto County government is made up of five County Commissioners. Each commissioner is elected at large for a four-year term of office. A County Administer is also appointed by the Board of Commissioners.
DeSoto County Schools
Public schools are under the direction of the DeSoto County School District.