St. Johns County is a county of the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 United States Census, the county's population was 190,039. The county seat and largest incorporated city is St. Augustine. The county was established in 1821. It is one of the first counties created when Florida was ceded to the United States, and it was named after the St. Johns River, which runs along its western border.
St. Johns County is included in the Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is primarily made up of residential bedroom communities. Tourism, primarily associated with St. Augustine and the many golf courses in the area, is the chief economic industry.
St. Johns County’s history begins in 1821, when Colonel Robert Butler received Spanish East Florida from Captain General Colonel Jose Coppinger. Butler represented Major General Andrew Jackson, Governor of the Provinces of the Floridas, exercising the powers of the Captain General and the Intendents of the Island of Cuba and the Governors of the said provinces, respectively, who ordained that all of that country lying east of the river Suwannee should be designated as the County of St. Johns.
St. Johns was established along with Escambia County on July 21, 1821, just eleven days after Butler received Florida for the United States, and only five days from the time St. Augustine was incorporated. The name St. Johns was created from the Spanish Mission (1590) San Juan del Puerto/St. John’s of the Harbor. The apostrophe was dropped in 1932 by the Department of the Interior because the apostrophe showed ownership.
It was a huge county, encompassing more than 39,000 square miles, 475 miles long by 165 miles wide. Further, except for Maine, St. Johns County was larger than all eleven states of the Union at that time. Much of the county was uninhabited. St. Augustine was the oldest European permanent settlement, and there were Native Americans in the county as well.
NOTE: See also St. Augustine
The main county administration center is located north of St. Augustine just off U.S. 1 on Lewis Speedway (see |map). Below are links to several useful county agencies and activities.