St. Johns County
After one visit you’ll see why so many St. Johns County residents are proud to say they live “on the Island,” where residential options vary from oceanfront, beachside and intracoastal views to tranquil island neighborhoods. St. Johns County, in lovely Northeastern Florida, is a haven for beach, water, and warm weather enthusiasts, with much of the area located along the Atlantic Ocean and inland waterways. Its history dates back to 1821, and today the county has become one of the highest-income counties in the United States.
History of St. Johns County
St. Johns County’s history begins in 1821, when Colonel Robert Butler received Spanish East Florida from Captain-General Colonel José M. Coppinger. Butler represented Major General Andrew Jackson, federal military commissioner for the Florida provinces (las Floridas) with the powers of governor, exercising the powers of the Captain General and the Intendants of the Island of Cuba and the governors of the said provinces, respectively, who ordained that all the country east of the river Suwannee should be designated the County of St. Johns.
St. Johns was established, along with Escambia County (in the former West Florida province), on July 21, 1821, 11 days after Butler received Florida for the United States, and five days after the city of St. Augustine was incorporated.
The name Saint John’s was derived from the Spanish mission (c. 1580) San Juan del Puerto (“Saint John of the Harbor”). The U.S. Department of the Interior dropped the apostrophe in 1932 because an apostrophe implied ownership.
It was a huge county, encompassing most of peninsular Florida, more than 39,000 square miles; it was 475 miles long by 165 miles wide. Much of the land was uninhabited. Saint Augustine (1565) was the oldest permanent European settlement, and there were Native Americans in the county as well.