Hardee county was created in 1921 from a portion of the original DeSoto County and named in honor of Florida Governor Cary A. Hardee. Other names originally considered for the county included Wauchula, Goolsby, and Cherokee. The earliest settlement of the area that is now Hardee County began in April 1849 when the Kennedy Darling Indian Trading post was established on the area that is now Payne’s Creek Historic State Park. The area which is now Hardee County was home to the first cattle ranchers, livestock, and cowboys. The Florida cowboys were among the first in the United States and were eventually dubbed “crackers” because of the cracking sound their whips made as they herded cattle. Today, Hardee County is known for its large citrus groves, prize-winning livestock, and rich soil. IN fact, the area is also known as “Bone Valley”, an area containing most of the richest phosphate deposits in both the United States and the world! Unlike much of the rest of modern-day Florida, Hardee county still remains largely undeveloped and offers the perfect retreat and home for those who are looking for a slower-pace quality of life. If you were to read Patrick D. Smith’s classic novel “A Land Remembered” you may be surprised to find that Hardee County still looks a lot like the image of Old Florida that is portrayed in the book. Hardee County residents are proud to live in a community where children still walk to school, housing is both desirable and affordable, neighbors are friendly, there is plenty of land, clean air, and clean water, and businesses succeed with an optimal labor force and a low overhead. Hardee County offers small town living at its best!