Bradford County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
|Founded||December 31, 1858|
|o Total||300 sq mi (800 km2)|
|o Land||294 sq mi (760 km2)|
|o Water||6.5 sq mi (17 km2) 2.2%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||91/sq mi (35/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
Bradford County is a county in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,520. Its county seat is Starke. Bradford County is the home of the Florida State Prison as well as several other state correctional facilities. It is named after Richard H Bradford, a Confederate Captain who fought during the American Civil War.
New River County was created in 1858. It was renamed Bradford County in 1861. It was named for Captain Richard Bradford, who fought in the American Civil War and was killed in the Battle of Santa Rosa Island, becoming the first Confederate officer from Florida to die during the Civil War.
Bradford County was a dangerous place for law enforcement officers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The county lost three sheriffs and two deputies killed in the line of duty between 1885 and 1903. Sheriff George Epperson was shot and killed in the line of duty on December 25, 1885. His successor, and son, Henry Epperson, was shot and killed in the line of duty on January 20, 1890. The next sheriff, David Alvarez, who been marshal in Starke prior to being appointed sheriff, was shot and killed in the line of duty on May 30, 1891, while trying to arrest Harmon Murray, who had already killed a deputy sheriff in Fernandina. Deputy sheriff Andrew Kite was shot and killed in the line of duty on August 20, 1899. Deputy sheriff Henry Richarde was shot and killed in the line of duty on November 19, 1903. In addition, Jeff Jones, acting night marshal in Starke, was shot and killed in the line of duty on November 20, 1903, and Everett Johns, who had been sheriff in Bradford County, was shot and killed in the line of duty while working as a deputy sheriff in Nassau County on December 6, 1905.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 300 square miles (780 km2), of which 294 square miles (760 km2) is land and 6.5 square miles (17 km2) (2.2%) is water. It is the third-smallest county in Florida by land area and second-smallest by total area.
At the 2000 census there were 26,088 people, 8,497 households, and 6,194 families in the county. The population density was 89 people per square mile (34/km2). There were 9,605 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile (13/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 76.28% White, 20.79% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 1.24% from two or more races. 2.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 8,497 households 31.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.40% were married couples living together, 13.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.10% were non-families. 22.90% of households were one person and 9.70% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.01.
The age distribution was 21.90% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 32.10% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% 65 or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 127.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 132.50 males.
The median household income was $33,140 and the median family income was $39,123. Males had a median income of $29,494 versus $20,745 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,226. About 11.10% of families and 14.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.30% of those under age 18 and 17.60% of those age 65 or over.
The Florida Department of Corrections operates several correctional facilities in unincorporated areas. The facilities include Florida State Prison, Florida State Prison - West Unit, and New River Correctional Institution. Florida State Prison houses one of Florida's two male death rows and the State of Florida execution chamber.
According to the Secretary of State's office, Republicans hold a narrow plurality among registered voters in Bradford County.
|Bradford County Voter Registration & Party Enrollment as of 31 August 2017|
|Political Party||Total Voters||Percentage|
Like much of rural northern Florida, Bradford County votes heavily Republican in presidential and congressional races, although still occasionally supporting conservative Democrats in local and state contests.
|2018||73.28% 7,698||25.43% 2,671||1.29% 136|
|2014||64.67% 5,525||30.36% 2,594||4.97% 424|
|2010||60.06% 4,850||36.94% 2,983||3.00% 242|
|2006||62.59% 4,458||34.23% 2,438||3.18% 227|
|2002||58.79% 4,596||40.10% 3,135||1.12% 87|
|1998||67.29% 4,349||32.69% 2,113||0.02% 1|
|1994||62.85% 4,470||37.15% 2,642|
|1990||43.23% 2,468||56.77% 3,241|
|1986||58.92% 3,321||41.08% 2,315|
|1982||16.81% 730||83.19% 3,613|
|1978||36.43% 1,678||63.57% 2,928|
|1970||38.37% 1,546||61.63% 2,483|
|1966||52.75% 1,910||47.25% 1,711|
|1964||28.18% 1,087||71.83% 2,771|
|1960||9.79% 326||90.21% 3,003|
The main library serving Bradford County is the Bradford County Public Library in Starke. As of 2013the library director is Robert E. Perone.